In 2018 Ikea made a bold pledge. By 2025, the company will deliver every item worldwide by electric vehicle. It started with a full switch to EVs in five cities: New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Amsterdam, and Shanghai by 2020.
Ikea already reached that goal in Shanghai. Ikea announced that in the inner city of Shanghai, all home deliveries are now done with electric vehicles. “We wanted to challenge both ourselves and others, and Shanghai is one of the biggest cities in the world,” says Angela Hultberg, who oversees sustainable mobility at Ikea. “A city that struggles with air pollution, the very problem we’re trying to address, seemed like a perfect place to start.”
To get to this point, Ikea followed through on its plan to build out local partnerships to source vehicles and enough charging infrastructure to make the shift possible. Part of that change was partnering with DST, a Shenzen-based company that leases out electric trucks and vans. DST manages over 16,000 logistics vehicles and has charging stations in major Chinese cities. New Brother, Ikea’s logistics partner in China, also has purchased a handful of electric delivery trucks.
Hultberg says, access to DST’s shared fleet “allowed us to secure vehicles faster, cutting months off the timeline.” Delivery vehicles will be crucial, but Ikea is also exploring doing some smaller deliveries by electric cargo bikes.
Ikea also said it is trying to change consumer behavior to encourage low-emissions transport. Its expansion strategy is to establish smaller stores in urban cores, rather than its typical “big box” facilities, so customers can reach them via public transportation, walking or biking.