Flowbird UK has installed the first electric vehicle (EV) chargepoint hub for Waitrose employees at the retailer’s main distribution centre in Bracknell.
The move sees Flowbird collaborating with electric chargepoint manufacturer Easee to design, install and commission 14 22kW EV rapid charge points at Waitrose’s 114,000 sq ft main warehouse and distribution depot. This hub will deliver state-of-the-art EV charging for the local workforce via the Flowbird app, providing staff – known as ‘partners’ – exclusive use of the charging facilities.
As part of a wider initiative to reduce the carbon footprint at the depot, Waitrose is looking to encourage its partners to go electric through this investment in a cost-effective EV charging solution.
Waitrose, part of the John Lewis Partnership (JLP), holds a 20-year relationship with Flowbird and features the company’s parking technology across 20 stores UK-wide. The chargepoint rollout at Bracknell is anticipated to be the first of all Waitrose depots to adopt the initiative.
Flowbird and Easee have a well-established relationship having completed numerous installations in various locations throughout the UK. Therefore, when Waitrose designated Easee as the preferred charge point for their Bracknell site, the two companies were well placed to create the hardware and app solution with Flowbird serving as the charge point operator (CPO).
JLP has an ambitious strategy to achieve a fleet that is free of fossil fuels by 2030. Furthermore, it has pledged to electrify its light commercial vehicle and business car fleet in order to facilitate zero carbon operations by 2035. The installation of EV charging points at the Bracknell head office represents a significant stride towards achieving these objectives.
Jackie Hewson, Alternative Fuel Implementation Manager at Waitrose, said:
“It enables partners to affordably and easily charge vehicles while back in the office working and reducing its environmental impact and carbon footprint.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for our partners to go electric. We appreciate that not everyone has a charger at home, and so believe that providing workplace charging is key to supporting the EV transition and establishing more sustainable depot operations. Working with Flowbird has made things easy since they have both the charging and payment infrastructure to make it work.”
Danny Hassett, Managing Director at Flowbird UK, commented:
“This initiative builds on our strong long-standing relationship with Waitrose, as well as reflects Flowbird’s increasing presence in the EV charging market.
“This has been a natural progression for a company with a background in installing infrastructure in car parks, in addition to all the physical and digital payments and data capability that goes with it. Warehouse and logistics hubs are prime locations for EV chargepoint investments, and this installation will see partners at Bracknell benefit from accessible and affordable charging for years to come.”