Is EVIE the future for food delivery?

Following the introduction of five electric cargo bikes into its delivery fleet last year, Sainsbury’s has furthered its commitment to sustainable home deliveries by becoming the UK’s first supermarket to trial electric van technology.

EVIE – Sainsbury’s first 100% electric van - will make up to 30 deliveries per day from Sainsbury’s online fulfilment centre in Bromley by Bow across Central and East London, with plans to add a second electric van imminently.

It’s a savvy brand differentiator for Sainsbury’s at a time when sustainability is increasingly becoming a driver of loyalty. It also fits perfectly with their green slots service that (similarly to services offered by Tesco’s and Ocado) allows customers to select greener slots when deliveries are already being made near them and can be consolidated.

What’s less clear about EVIE’s introduction to Sainsbury’s sustainability proposition is strategy is just how viable having a fleet of EVIEs is going to be given that the current EVIE only has an anticipated range of 80 miles on a single charge.

For the moment it seems that it’s only a solution that can work in a heavily populated urban area in the immediate vicinity of a fulfilment centre, which makes for a relatively niche proposition. But in the future we’d love to think that it might be possible for everyone’s groceries might be delivered with zero emissions…