Major homeware retailer Ikea has announced a multi-million-dollar investment in a dedicated electric charger network for its delivery partner fleets at all its stores across the Australia.

The investment by Ikea Australia represents a major step forward by the retailer that  it says will support the road freight logistics sector to decarbonise with accessibility to urban charging infrastructure,  which it underlines is a frequent challenge for logistics providers,

Ikea has partnered with  JET Charge,  in a project that will see electric charging and energy management systems installed for six vehicles at each of the ten Ikea stores around Australia, along with charging for 28 vehicles at its central distribution centre warehouse at Marsden Park in Sydney’s west, providing drivers with accessible, low-cost charging for a range of electric delivery vehicles.

Ikea ays its  deliveries are carried out by delivery partners, each with their own network of truck and van drivers, who they say work together with Ikea to transition to zero emissions delivery. The company says that as public charging infrastructure caters to passenger vehicles only, this investment will support their delivery drivers with access to low-cost charging infrastructure for their vehicles.

Ikea says that the new electric chargers are a mix of AC and DC charging options to cater to the different needs of its delivery partners’ trucks and vans, with 22kW and 20kW for overnight charging, and 75kW and 150kW for fast charging, as well as the JET Charge CORE energy management system which allows energy to be intelligently controlled within the site.

The installation project being carried out by JET Charge is currently underway and is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Ikea says it has committed at a global level, to drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In 2019, the company became the first home furnishing retailer in Australia to use electric vehicles for home deliveries and assembly services and as of May this year, it claims to have hit a new milestone, with 40 per cent of truck deliveries to customers now made via a zero emissions vehicle.

Alexandra Kelly, zero emissions delivery lead for  IKEA Australia said  the company has made exciting progress with electrifying its fleet, especially in the last 12 months, but but says they know a significant barrier for its delivery partners being able to make the switch to an electric vehicle is limited access to charging infrastructure.

“By investing in national network of dedicated chargers for electric trucks and vans at all IKEA sites, we are providing access to electric charging at the point of fulfilment where orders are being picked up,” said Kelly.

“With the support of innovative partners like JET Charge, we hope to address key challenges like this for the freight and logistics sector,” Kelly added.

“Supporting our delivery partners to electrify sees us move closer to our overall goal of 100 per cent zero emissions truck deliveries at Ikea Australia, but more importantly, we believe it can also help drive further positive change we want to see in the industry as an investment in the future of last mile delivery,”  she said.

CEO of  JET Charge, Tim Washington, said, the reliability of EV charging infrastructure is fundamental to the adoption of electric fleets, particularly within the logistics sector where every morning counts.

“Ikea trucks and vans need to be fully charged and ready to make deliveries without fail. With over a decade of expertise in EV charging conceptual design, energy management, and advanced technological integration, JET Charge is committed to ensuring that all Ikea sites are not only safe but also resilient. We are proud to partner with visionary companies like Ikea to enable them to deliver sustainably and on time for their customers,” said Washington.