Image credit: Webecoist
From turning waste food into energy to delivering food by barge, UK supermarket Sainsbury's has been exploring alternative energy and transportation for some time. They even recently unveiled "people-powered" checkouts, though on closer inspection they appeared to be gasoline driven. Now the company is taking a significant step toward real, far-reaching electric vehicle infrastructure across London. The supermarket chain is launching a city-wide electric vehicle charging network at eleven stores, including Beckton; Camden; Chiswick; Cromwell Road; East Dulwich; Greenwich Peninsula; Islington; North Cheam; Sydenham; Wandsworth and Whitechapel. Nine of the charging points are open now, with Wandsworth and Whitechapel opening later this month.
Taking a bold move like this across the nation's capital will, says Sainsbury's Neil Sachdev, Sainsbury's commercial director, "turn London into an electric vehicle superhighway, giving electric car drivers greater freedom. Sainsbury's is already one of the country's largest users of these vehicles and we hope that this initiative will encourage more of our customers to follow our lead."
Of course, let's not forget that London has excellent public transportation, and electric cars aren't a panacea. But given the fact that countless Londoners still drive to get their groceries, it can hardly be a bad thing if they make a move toward a greener vehicle to do it in. And with London's car clubs gaining strength, and cyclists finally being taken seriously, maybe a saner, more integrated system of transportation is emerging.
Now if Sainsbury's could start delivering groceries to homes in electric vehicles, then we'd really be on a winner.