IKEA Australia is rolling out a fleet of electric delivery trucks in a bid to ditch petrol over the next six years.
The Swedish flat-pack giant has become one of the first retailers in Australia to utilise electronic vehicles for delivery ahead of anticipated strong uptake of the technology over the next decade.
Spruiking the pledge on Monday, IKEA Australia said it wants 5% of its fleet to be electronic vehicles by start of July, and 10% by financial year 2020.
It follows a Victorian trial last year, which saw the vehicles make about 3,500 deliveries to customers.
The retailer said the investment adds another notch to its climate change action belt, estimating one truck saves 36.3 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.
“At IKEA we want to drive positive change. That’s why we are committed to achieving zero emissions from delivery vehicles and ensuring 100 per cent of our fleet will be electric vehicles,” IKEA Australia country manager Jan Gardberg said in a statement circulated on Monday.
Going electric will also save on fuel costs as businesses around the world begin to consider how electric powered freight could thin their cost bases.
Businesses such as Walmart, Pepsi and FedEx have all invested in pre-orders for Tesla’s electric and autonomous semi-truck vehicles, which go into production this year.
Founder Elon Musk has previously claimed the vehicles can go 800 kilometres on a single charge, hauling over 36,000kgs.
Meanwhile, others like American-Chinese startup TuSimple and Google spin-off Waymo are also investing in getting products out to market ahead of the expected boom.
Locally, shopping centre landlords like Mirvac are already preparing for customers, and retailers, to begin using electronic vehicles.
Mirvac is investing in charging stations and is designing future car parks and freight areas of centres with electric vehicles in mind.
Although the technology is just getting its start in Australia, accounting for 0.1% of the broader automotive market as of May last year, according to research done by Energia.