Ikea, turning green: deliveries to Shanghai take place with electric vehicles



The company plans to completely decarbonize its delivery fleet in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Amsterdam and Shanghai by 2020


The big companies that will have a winning business model will be those that will adapt to the challenge of respect for nature and the Ingka Group – the parent company of Ikea – in 2018 is committed to a major project. According to this project, by 2025, the company will deliver every object worldwide with an electric vehicle.

The project started with a narrower target, trying to achieve the complete transition to electric vehicles in five cities – New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Amsterdam and Shanghai – by 2020.

Among these cities, there is one that has more easily managed to welcome the goal of Ikea. In fact, since January 23, Ingka has reached that goal in Shanghai. The company has indeed announced that in the center of the Chinese city, all home deliveries are now made with electric vehicles.

Angela Hultberg, who oversees sustainable mobility at the Ingka Group, said: “We wanted to challenge ourselves and others, and Shanghai is one of the largest cities in the world. A city that fights against air pollution, the same problem that we are trying to deal with it. A perfect place to start. ”


It will be important for Ikea to forge local partnerships


To get to this point, Ikea has followed its plan to build local partnerships to find vehicles and sufficient charging infrastructure. In fact, in Shanghai, Ikea works with a local storage and distribution company, Beiye New Brother Logistics Co., “which was willing to change with us,” says Hultberg.

Fundamental part of the project, obviously, are the electric vehicles. And to have helped Ikea was the partnership with DST, a company based in Shenzen that rents electric vehicles and vans. DST manages over 16,000 logistics vehicles and has thousands of charging stations in major cities like Shanghai. New Brother, Ikea’s logistics partner in China, also bought a handful of electric delivery trucks.


Ikea is also trying to change customer behavior to encourage low-emission transport


In Shanghai, says Hultberg, access to the shared DST fleet “allowed us to change vehicles faster”. But Ikea works to achieve 100% zero-emission deliveries in other cities, such as New York, which do not yet have a solid EV sharing network. Here, of course, the delivery of cars and trucks will be crucial, but Ikea is also exploring some delivery possibilities with an electric cargo bike or tricycle.

During this process, Ikea is also trying to change customer behavior to encourage low-emission transport. A turning point on the part of the Swedish giant is that of placing smaller shops in urban centers, rather than locating huge shops on the margins, to encourage customers to reach them through transit, on foot or by bicycle.

In Shanghai, a new Ikea store, scheduled to open in 2020, will connect directly with the city’s metropolitan system.



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