Tesco is shaping up to be known more for its environmental efforts than the products sold at its retail stores. This week Tesco.com and Modec announced that will be the first firm in the UK to operate a fleet of electric delivery vans. The EVs operate from Tesco's brand new Tesco Extra environmental store in Shrewsbury.

The Modec trucks (which we introduced you to almost exactly one year ago) can, after each overnight charge, carry a two-ton load, have a 100-mile range and a top speed of 50mph. Tesco says the CO2 savings from each van equals 21 tons a year (21 tons is roughly the same amount CO2 spat out by driving 51,000 miles in a car, Tesco says). And, by delivering goods instead of having people drive to the store, Tesco estimates about 6,000 car journeys are taken off the road each year per van. Read Tesco's statement's here.

The specs say all Modec vehicles have regenerative braking, and in the Modec FAQ we find it's an interesting way that Tesco (and others) will "own" the vehicles. First, depending on body type, the Modec vehicles cost between £25,000 and £30,000. Second, that cost doesn't include the batteries, which are provided on a rental basis. The rental charge is based on the expected mileage the vehicle will be driven, and then a surcharge on top of that. So, in the FAQ's example, driving 18,000 miles a year would cost £400 a month (about 27p per mile). Modec claims this payment scheme costs 5-20 percent less than running on diesel.
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[Source: Tesco]

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