IKEA says keeping last-mile services sustainable and cost-effective while meeting customers’ expectations is challenging. But IKEA is making a lot of progress on this front. For the last couple of years, IKEA retailers have been introducing electric trucks for home delivery services. A lot of these developments have been covered right here on CleanTechnica. IKEA is not just making progress on the electric vehicle front, but also on charging infrastructure as well as on the adoption of renewables such as solar. IKEA aims to become climate positive by 2030 by reducing more greenhouse gas emissions than the IKEA value chain emits while growing the IKEA business.
Now, the IKEA franchisor has just added a more sustainable alternative home delivery transport solution: Solar-powered cargo bikes. They have added the SunRider solar power cargo bike. During the last year, the IKEA store in Delft, The Netherlands, completed a pilot using a solar-powered cargo bike for delivering products to its customers within the city center around the store. After evaluating the pilot, the worldwide IKEA franchisor (Inter IKEA Systems B.V.) now has decided to scale up and give all IKEA retailers around the world the possibility to add a more sustainable, accessible, and cost-effective alternative to their home delivery fleet within their market.
“This SunRider bike can accommodate roughly 90 per cent of the IKEA product range and emits 98 per cent less CO2 than modern diesel vans. For IKEA, it’s important to explore new ways to improve the service offer for the customers, both from a more sustainable, affordable and accessible perspective. The solar-powered cargo bike does all that,” says Helene Davidsson, Sustainability Manager, Inter IKEA Systems B.V.
The SunRider cargo bicycle has a 1.6 kWh lithium-ion battery charged using the integrated 545Wp solar PV panels. The cargo compartment can fit 1 standard EU pallet and can carry up to 150 kg. On a full battery, the bicycle has a range of about 100 km depending on route conditions and usage cycle. The 545Wp solar panels on board mean that on nice sunny days the battery can be fully charged from the solar panels, which provides an additional of 100 km and is great for places with weak and intermittent grids or remote off-grid areas as well.
Deloitte’s Discover the Future 2020 Predictions for UK Technology, Media and Telecommunications also summarizes the appeal of e-bikes . The battery assistance makes pedaling a whole lot easier for longer. Average speeds on e-bikes can be up to 50% higher compared with standard bikes. The battery assistance also makes acceleration on take-off much easier after stops.
Riders also get a power boost when going uphill, carrying heavy loads, facing headwinds, and in the case when a rider may encounter a combination of all of these at the same time. All of these, coupled with realtime tracking via apps, make e-bikes and especially the cargo versions perfect for the home delivery industry. Cargo bikes are therefore a perfect fit for the last mile delivery for companies like IKEA.
“We want to meet more people, and many of our future customers will live in cities with limited access to transportation. This challenge provides a great opportunity to explore new ways of making our products available. The solar-powered cargo bike will be a valuable addition to last-mile service, as it offers a quiet, emission-free alternative that can also bypass traffic congestion,” Davidsson added. Finding new logistic and customer fulfillment solutions that can meet the need of urban environments and increased e-commerce, while also being friendly to the climate, environment, and co-workers, helps IKEA zone in on its priority areas of sustainability, affordability, and accessibility.
Image courtesy of IKEA
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