Asda takes carbon fibre bodies for home deliveries

Leeds, UK: Asda has taken delivery of its first Penso-bodied vans for home delivery work.

The bodies use carbon fibre and recycled plastic to make weight savings.

The breakthrough in carbon fibre come from using press forming that takes minutes to construct, making the end product a commercially viable alternative for home delivery fleets for the first time. Typically, carbon fibre panels have taken hours to manufacture in an autoclave, pricing the solution out of the fleet sector.

Simon Gregg, vice president, online grocery home shopping, Asda, said: “I’m really excited to launch this fleet of innovative and sustainable grocery home shopping vans which will make a real difference to cutting our carbon footprint.

The vans will be used on routes where drivers have increased mileage to reach customers in remote areas such as parts of the east coast.

Penso’s lightweight bodies for 3.5-tonne vans give up to 50% more payload and capacity is up by as much as 30%. “Put simply, a 3.5-tonne vehicle with a Blue Ocean Home Delivery Pod can carry the same weight of goods in two journeys, that a traditional vehicle delivers in three,” says Daniel Hurcombe, managing director, Penso.

“We have taken an entirely fresh approach in what is typically a very traditional sector, using new materials and processes to unlock major efficiency and sustainability improvements for last-mile delivery.
Penso’s first Blue Ocean model is a triple compartment temperature-controlled body for grocery home deliveries, able to carry 140 totes versus the industry standard of 110 to 120.

A GAH fridge cools the body and the vans typically returned a 34mpg during trials. This compares favourably with the 24mpg achieved by the existing customer vehicle – pointing to a significant improvement in fuel consumption. Penso designed the pods to be compatible with all makes of refrigeration unit currently used by online grocery retailers in the UK market.

Asda’sS Penso vans give up to 50% more payload and have capacity up by as much as 30%

Hurcombe says: “For a typical supermarket vehicle, that equates to a saving of around £2,400 per vehicle per year in diesel costs alone. Multiply that across a fleet of 3,000 home delivery vans and suddenly you’re saving £7,200,000 a year on diesel. That’s a fairly compelling saving for a fleet manager to share with their finance and procurement teams.”

The first Blue Ocean models for Asda have a triple compartment temperature-controlled body for grocery home delivery, able to carry 140 totes