Grocery deliveries are set to get greener after supermarket giant Woolworths revealed plans to decommission 3000 diesel trucks and put more than 1200 electric vehicles on the road.
The commitment, which will see the company's entire home delivery fleet go electric by 2030, will also put 27 electric trucks on roads in Sydney over the next two months.
Climate groups welcomed the announcement on Thursday, saying it would significantly cut transport pollution and could lay down a challenge to the company's grocery rivals.
Woolworths chief executive Brad Banducci said the company made the commitment to electric trucks in an effort to cut 60 per cent of its transport emissions by 2030.
"The case for a low-carbon future has never been clearer, and we're backing a better tomorrow for our communities and the planet by starting the transition now," he said.
"Not only can we help make our suburban streets quieter and cleaner, but we hope to set an example for other businesses to support the growth of Australia's EV industry."
The commitment will see Woolworths decommission more than 3000 internal-combustion-engine trucks, with the last added to its fleet in 2027, and put more than 1200 electric trucks on roads for home delivery services.
The company, which began testing two electric trucks from Foton Motor and SAIC Motor in 2022, will also deploy 27 electric trucks over the next two months in parts of Sydney, including the city, inner west, eastern suburbs, Sutherland Shire and the St George region.
The trucks will be recharged at Woolworths' Mascot and Caringbah fulfilment centres.
Greenpeace Australia Pacific senior campaigner Violette Snow welcomed the commitment, saying diesel trucks were a major contributor to air pollution.
Ms Snow said the use of zero-emission vehicles fuelled with renewable energy should send a signal to other companies with large delivery fleets that it was time to upgrade them.
"Today's announcement sets 'Woolies' apart from their competitors," she said.
"The onus is now on other major retailers like Coles and Aldi to follow suit and accelerate their commitments to cleaner, greener transport."
Supermarket giant Coles added an electric delivery truck to its Australian fleet in 2022 as part of a trial with logistics giant Linfox.
Aldi began trials of an electric refrigerator trailer in the UK last year.
Heavy vehicles are responsible for 38 per cent of transport emissions in Australia, but were not mentioned in the recent National Electric Vehicle Strategy.
The Australian Trucking Association, Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia, Electric Vehicle Council and Australian Hydrogen Council have urged the federal government to develop a national policy for zero-emission trucks, and for changes to weight and size restrictions to allow more green trucks to be imported.
Australian Associated Press
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.