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Waitrose and John Lewis have announced plans to significantly increase the use of electric vans to help fulfill its ambition of ending the use of fossil fuels across its entire transport fleet by 2030.

The John Lewis Partnership will use two new designs of vehicle for its food deliveries and for smaller John Lewis deliveries, saving over 20,000 tonnes of CO2 every year, equivalent to the carbon footprint produced by 2,500 UK households.

The electric vans follow the retailer’s recent announcement that it is building a dedicated biomethane gas filling station to enable its largest heavy goods vehicles to use a low-carbon alternative to diesel. This will reduce CO2 emissions by 80%, with each truck saving over 100 tonnes of CO2 every year.

Highlighted in the retailer’s Ethics & Sustainability Progress Report, published today, the revolutionary electric vans will be trialled early next year. The retailer has worked with manufacturers and data scientists to source vehicles that are the most efficient and environmentally-responsible.

In addition to producing fewer pollutants, the state-of-the-art electric vehicles have greater capacity than their diesel counterparts. In some cases, this means replacing three diesel vans with two electric ones. Electric vans are also quieter which is important for reducing noise pollution in built-up areas. The vehicle can also be upgraded as technology advances, meaning the electric vans could have a very long life of up to 20 years or more. This is a significant benefit that really adds to the sustainability of the vehicle.

Justin Laney, Partner & General Manager of Central Transport at the John Lewis Partnership, says: “As our online services rapidly expand, we’re working hard to meet our goal of operating a zero fossil fuel in the next ten years. Our new electric vans are an ideal solution for home deliveries; the innovative design means they’re more efficient, but also respectful to the environment and the growing number of neighbourhoods in which we deliver.”

Poppy Welch, Head of Go Ultra Low, added: “Waitrose and John Lewis’ announcement is a fantastic example of the progress that many UK fleets are now making towards electric mobility. Switching to electric vehicles provides an immediate way for businesses to reduce their environmental footprint and improve local air quality across our communities.”

“Electric fleets deliver significant financial benefits, too, enabling thousands of pounds worth of savings each year in fuel, tax, maintenance and other running costs compared to conventional petrol and diesel vehicles. Greener and environmental considerations continue to rise up the public and business agenda as the country looks to build back better, and we expect to see further fleets make the switch to electric and access these financial and environmental benefits.”

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