Waitrose is to become the first supermarket in the UK to pilot electric vans equipped with wireless charging technology.
As part of the trial scheme, which will begin next year, Waitrose will deliver groceries from its St Katharine’s Dock store in London to customers using the vehicles.
Wireless vans are fitted with a slim charging pad on the underside and top up by parking above an electric plate, exactly like flat charging plates for mobile phones. They can also be plugged in to charge overnight.
EV specialist Flexible Power Systems is installing the technology, which will also equip the store with a cloud based smart charging system designed for home delivery.
By 2030 Waitrose says it will have electrified all cars, vans and light trucks in its fleet, and for sectors where that is not currently possible, such as long distance heavy trucks, it will use biomethane.
Marija Rompani, director of ethics & sustainability at the John Lewis Partnership, said: “We’ve already committed to electric vans and have created a new biomethane gas filling station too, which is helping to reduce CO2 emissions by 80 per cent.”
Managing director of Flexible Power Systems, Michael Ayres added: “This project is about testing technologies that can save time and cost, particularly wireless charging, which has the potential to save time spent charging between deliveries to make the process more efficient and convenient for customers, as well as retailers.”