The Australia-New Zealand chapter of Women of Electric Vehicles latest webinar focused on electric vehicle charging infrastructure and as it was held on the same day Greenpeace Australia Pacific announced Ikea Australia topped its Electrify Fleet Rankings, everyone’s ears pricked up a little more to listen to the homeware giant’s Sydney-based Alex Kelly.
“We’ve made this very ambitious target to electrify our delivery service so that by 2025, if you order an Ikea product online, it will be delivered in a zero-emissions vehicle,” said Kelly, who is responsible for implementing Ikea Australia’s zero-emissions policies.
But it’s tricky, with different stakeholders wondering not only what type of charger is best, but where it should be located and who is responsible for making the investment in the necessary infrastructure.
“In the logistics space, it’s the ownership model that makes it hard to even work out where the ecosystem begins,” said Kelly. “Is it on the owner operator to install the charger at home? Is it on the retailer who uses a TSP [transportation service provider] to make the investment? Is it on the TSP to make the investment?”
Kelly said Ikea is collaborating with different stakeholders and has started to identify a use case for investment in multiple scenarios, including at-home charging for van and truck parcel delivery drivers, as well as depot charging and retail outlet chargers.
She said Ikea has four chargers at its Sydney outlet which its logistics operators use. “They load up in the morning and take them out and then charge them overnight.”
Kelly questioned the perception among delivery service providers — and their drivers — that fast chargers are needed for trucks and vans. “I think what we really need to bring to the forefront is if we can find a place to park that asset that’s next to a charger we can charge quite cheaply and we can charge using hardware that is slower than what might otherwise be the expectation of potential TSPs or retailers.”
Meanwhile, Ikea Australia scored 9.5 out of 10 in the Greenpeace inaugural Electrify Fleet Rankings. The score is calculated from a range of measures, including commitments to electrify passenger, light commercial and trucking, powering them with renewable energy, and commitments to installing electric vehicle infrastructure for staff and customers. The runner up in 2023 was Bank Australia with a score of 7.5 and third placed Westpac got 6.5. The national average score was 3.
“Ikea stands out for its leadership, setting an example for other organisations around Australia,” said Violette Snow, senior campaigner at Greenpeace Australia Pacific, in a press release announcing the rankings.
“By committing to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2025, to electrify all cars and vans including a target for zero-emissions last mile delivery by 2025, and to zero-emission electric trucks by 2040, the company is showing what is both possible and right,” said Snow.
“Customers have increasing expectations for the retail sector to reduce the environmental impact of its delivery services,” added Ikea Australia CEO and Chief Sustainability Officer Mirja Viinanen. “We’re so proud of the progress we have made with our delivery partners so far.”