Online supermarket Picnic is going to equip some of its electric vans with solar panels. The trial is a new step in the online supermarket’s policy of making deliveries in the most sustainable way possible.
The search for new solutions
The ‘Picnic Solar’ pilot project will take place in the cities of Utrecht, Amersfoort and The Hague. One delivery van in each city will be equipped with solar panels that are to be placed on the roof of the vehicle. For the Picnic Solar project, the online supermarket is collaborating with Wattlab, a developer of solar energy applications. If the project goes well, Picnic wants to equip a larger proportion of its fleet with solar panels.
“Picnic’s grocery delivery process is completely electrical from the word go, meaning we don’t emit CO2 or particulate matter in the streets where we make deliveries,” explains Frederik Nieuwenhuys, co-founder of Picnic, in a press release. “We are constantly on the lookout for new energy supply opportunities and we want to use the charging infrastructure and energy from the public grid as wisely as possible”.
25 extra deliveries
The solar panels supply the delivery van with approximately 30% extra energy on a sunny day. “This means that one van equipped with a solar panel on the roof can make up to 25 extra deliveries. It’s a huge profit,” says Nieuwenhuys. The energy can also be used to optimally cool the groceries.
In Rotterdam and Zaandam, Picnic is already experimenting with a so-called Smart Grid, an energy network that optimally matches the supply and demand of electricity. As part of this, Picnic’s electric delivery vans are equipped with smart technology that allows energy to be stored (when it is cheap and sustainable), before being delivered back when required.