Asda has teamed up with Oxfordshire-based micro-mobility manufacturer Electric Assisted Vehicles (EAV) to test a range of new commercial vehicles.
The supermarket chain used EAV's 2Cubed commercial vehicle for two weeks to make home deliveries in Cambridge, placing particular focus on accessing hard to reach urban areas, with Asda exploring innovative solutions to deliver in pedestrianised areas and low emissions zones.
"It was great to see the reaction to the e-bike when we took it out on the road – it was really well received and definitely was a talking point at the store and with our customers," said Simon Gregg, vice president of online grocery at Asda.
"As we look to the future of retail we have to consider new and innovative ways to continue to offer great service to our customers whilst navigating things like low emission zones and pedestrianised areas. A solution such as this would allow us to get into town and cities where access is limited, using either roads or cycle lanes.
"It’s been great to collaborate with the team at EAV and put their eCargo vehicle to the test."
The 2Cubed ultra lightweight commercial vehicle can carry 10 fully-loaded tote boxes, which amounts to the average weekly shop for two customers. It can tackle a 60-mile delivery round more efficiently than an electric or internal combustion engined van, too.
"The eCargo concept has already proven to be more efficient than any van within an urban parcels and packages logistics scenario." said Adam Barmby, founder and CEO of EAV. "Working with Asda to reduce the environmental impact of grocery, and to make those deliveries more accessible, in towns and cities has been a great test for our new 2Cubed vehicle and one we’ve been really keen to participate in."
"EAV developed a prototype EAV Cool some time ago and it’s proved very successful as a development vehicle in the tests we’ve used it for." Barmby added. "Moving from parcel logistics to groceries is a logical pathway for EAV and it allows us to advance our technology maintaining ambient temperatures in our cargo bays.
"More importantly, it hugely reduces the environmental and emissions impact of vans and cars which are currently being used by supermarket chains and other businesses within urban locations. In a post-Covid world, where home deliveries have really become the norm, the shift to lightweight commercial deliveries is vital if we want to continue our efforts in improving the environment."