April 24, 08
Ocado All-Electric Refrigerator Van Uses Scroll Heat Exchanger

Ocado is set to begin trials of an electric delivery van that is the first of its kind anywhere in the world. Working closely with the team of inventors behind this exclusive new transport technology, Ocado is continuing its commitment to being a greener alternative to supermarket shopping and hopes that the new van will become a regular feature on British roads over the coming years.

Currently, Ocado uses Mercedes Sprinter vans which were designed specifically for use by the company. Each Sprinter enables Ocado to make the greenest achievable home deliveries and, every day, around 40 Ocado customers' cars remain parked at home instead of driving to the supermarket.

The 5.5 ton van, created by Isuzu and Zeroed, is powered by an electronically-controlled electric drive train and a simple two pedal operation. Energy is supplied from two strings of lithium ion phosphate batteries mounted in cassettes under the body. These are charged overnight for around six hours and provide over 100 miles of range and a top speed of 55 mph.

A unique electric fridge cools the van's body then uses the waste heat removed to then heat the vehicle cab via a heat exchanger. Using a highly efficient scroll compressor running at constant speed, unlike in a diesel engine, this uses very little energy from the batteries.

Regenerative braking also helps to preserve battery power and this is linked this to an antilock braking system for added safety.

Ocado is the only retailer in its market to offer 'green van' delivery slots, letting customers pick a delivery when a van is already in the area. It was the first to switch all paper to recycled materials for customer receipts and remains the only retailer in the UK to take back and recycle all of its own degradable plastic bags.