V2G is powering our mission to deliver fresh fruit to London – here’s how

 

We’re Fruit 4 London. For ten years we’ve been delivering fresh fruit to over 800 customers across the city, helping Londoners get their five a day.


Since 2012 we’ve been using electric vehicles (EVs) to carry our fruit to the people who need it.

But now we’re taking our commitment to sustainability one step further.

We’re joining with E-Flex to trial Vehicle-to-Grid technology using five of our EVs.

In this blog post, I’m going to explain why.

Driving revenue in downtime

We deliver fresh fruit to offices and homes all across London.  In order to reach our customers in a timely manner, our deliveries take place during the morning.

 This means our vehicles are back at our base by midday. And from then until the next day, they are just sitting there, doing nothing.

That’s where V2G comes in.

Through E-Flex, we’re installing bi-directional chargers for our electric vehicles.

These chargers will essentially turn our electric vehicles into a two-way energy source, which will be capable of accepting energy from the grid during times of low demand – like the hours between 12pm and 3am on weekdays and all day on weekends, when the vehicles are sat around.

Then, when peak energy demand hits at 4pm, we will be able to sell the energy stored in our EVs back to the grid – generating more revenue for us, and helping ease the pressure on the power network.

It’s a great way to make use of an asset that is otherwise going unused. And, importantly for us, it helps us keep our business sustainable.

Sustainability at our core

Sustainability has always been a key part of what we do.

The whole business grew out of our founders’ shared love of cycling and bananas.

We put the two together, and started using our bikes to deliver bananas (and other fruit too!).

Even when our customer base increased and we had to switch from bikes to vehicles, we kept our cyclists’ ethos.

We’re careful to keep track of how much paper and plastic we use, and we make sure it’s recycled properly. At our site in London, we use a thermo-dynamic heater to produce our hot water.

In the same way, using electric vehicles for our deliveries allows us to do right for our business and live up to our principals.

And it matters to our customers. Often they approach us with three questions: where do you get your fruit from, how do you transport it, and do you use plastic packaging?

They typically have their own green policies to meet – so being able to offer a sustainable service is a differentiator which has won us business.

A bright future with V2G

We’re really excited to be trialling V2G technology in our fleet.

It will enable us to take full advantage of assets that are otherwise just sitting idle in our car park.

And, most importantly, increasing the efficiency of our EVs will make a huge difference to our business, our customers and the environment.

Now, there’s only one thing left to ask is: have you had your five a day?