Australia’s retail giant, Coles, has taken a significant stride towards reducing its carbon footprint by unveiling its maiden electric delivery truck, affectionately dubbed “Sparky.” The introduction of Sparky is a pivotal move within Coles’ broader commitment to curbing emissions from its vehicle fleet.

100823 Sparky

Launched to promote imprved logistics sustainability, Sparky is set to execute 240 weekly deliveries to customers residing in Flagstone, located to the south of Brisbane, Queensland. Notably, this eco-friendly endeavor is anticipated to save the company a notable $170 per week in fuel costs.

This heralds a new chapter for Coles, aligning with its previously declared initiative of incorporating electric fridges into 500 trucks, coupled with its ongoing trial of an electric truck in its supply chain.

“Making around 40 deliveries to customers each day, the (electric vehicle) is a quieter, more efficient vehicle that produces fewer emissions than a petrol-powered vehicle,” says James Geddes, Coles’ Online Network and Growth General Manager. ”We look forward to using the insights gained from this trial to welcome more electric vans to our growing fleet around the country soon.”

This electric truck trial, Geddes added, is a key catalyst for Coles’ overarching commitment to slashing direct and indirect carbon emissions by 75% by 2030.

Chris Tulloch, the CEO of Custom Fleet, a partner in the electric truck venture, outlined that Sparky would deliver not only environmental benefits but also enhance the experience for customers and drivers alike. These electric vans bring to the table zero tailpipe emissions, a reduction in noise pollution, lower maintenance needs, and a more comfortable driving experience due to reduced vibrations.

Coles has been on an emissions-cutting journey, having previously embarked on an electric truck trial in tandem with Linfox since 2022. Additionally, the company has set its sights on equipping 500 delivery vans with electric fridges following a successful trial earlier this year.

These eco-driven commitments follow in the wake of Woolworths’ recent announcement to launch 27 electric trucks in Sydney within this year. Furthermore, Woolworths has charted a course to phase out its diesel fleet in favor of 1200 electric trucks. This move is projected to contribute to a 60% reduction in the company’s transport emissions by the end of the decade.