Queensland set to get its first 100% electric delivery truck

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A friend once told me that in some parts of the world, the USA I suspect, Ikea prefers to use unmarked white trucks, rather than vehicles with “IKEA” emblazoned on the sides, because if the public were aware of the sheer number of Ikea delivery trucks on the roads they might suspect the Swedes were planning an invasion. 

Of course, Ikea already has invaded, invaded our living rooms, and it does so using its gargantuan fleet. Thankfully, Ikea has set out to transition this fleet to 100% electric vehicles (EVs) by 2025. 

After a 3-year project in conjunction with SEA Electric and fleet service provider All Purpose Transport (APT), Ikea is set to deploy Queensland’s first 100% electric delivery truck. APT, says General Manager Paul Kahlert, is aiming for 10% of its Ikea delivery fleet to be composed of EVs by the end of 2020. 

The EV delivery truck has an unladen range of up to 300kms, saving an estimated 36 tonnes of CO2 per annum in comparison to its dirty diesel colleagues. Glen Walker, SEA Electric’s Regional Director of Oceania, also noted the EVs provided enhanced driver comfort and safety “with little heat and noise, and reduced cost of total ownership.” 

APT’s vehicles operate on an owner-driver model, and the company is using this first EV as a test to uncover any and all pros and cons. Given this testing period, APT is offering its drivers an EV leasing scheme as a sustainable business model. 

Although Queensland is seeing its first EV delivery truck deployed, Sydney has had three Ikea SEA EV delivery trucks on the road for the past ten months. These trucks, provided by another Ikea fleet partner, ANC, have already travelled 85,000kms collectively, averaging 185km per day on a single charge and making over 5,000 deliveries with an average weight of around 2.5 tonnes. ANC estimates 90 tonnes of CO2 has already been saved. 

The APT launch of Queensland’s new EV truck was attended by many from Ikea as well as Queensland Government Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey. Tony Fairweather, CEO of SEA Electric, who was also in attendance, said Minister Bailey’s speech was encouraging “with his acknowledgment of this fast transitioning segment and that Australia has been slow to adopt strategies to support it, however implying this would soon change.” 

Earlier this year, the Australian Financial Review reported that Jan Gardberg, Ikea’s Australia country manager, was calling upon the government to be “much more active” in supporting electric vehicles. 

In a discussion after Minister Bailey’s address, it was said to have been suggested that a runout of EV rubbish trucks should be (and will be) supported by the government. Across the country, the City of Fremantle is already testing an EV rubbish truck by the name of EVie. EVie’s only apparent drawback is that she is so quiet that nobody is woken up by the rubbish truck’s arrival, and, if you’ve forgotten to put the bins out, forced to make a run for it in your undies.