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Case Study – Supporting Milk & More With Their Modern Electric Fleet

Milk & More is the UK’s biggest online doorstep milk delivery firm. As the company introduced new electric milk floats, they needed a charge point roll-out programme.

milk & more electric fleet

Client – Milk & More

Geographical Area – Greater London

 

The Client

Milk & More, part of the MoreCo Group, is the UK’s biggest online doorstep dairy delivery company, upholding the tradition of the great British milkman. 

The company operated a fleet of more than 1,000 milk floats and diesel vans, and in 2018 it further electrified, investing in 159 all-electric vans. In fact, Milk & More became the owner of the UK’s largest fleet of LDV V80 vans, supplied by SAIC Maxus via its dealer, Heathrow Maxus. The vehicles were a significant upgrade on Milk & More’s milk floats. The floats were low speed vehicles running on lead acid batteries, whereas the new vans were powered by lithium batteries with acceleration and top speeds to match the equivalent diesel vehicles. 

The business needed an EV charging provider to advise on, install and support a new network of charge points to support these electric vans. Heathrow Maxus recommended that Milk & More get in touch with Mer as leader in this field.  

 

The Solution

Initially Milk & More believed it would require rapid chargers to support its new vans. However, Mer conducted a thorough scoping exercise to help create a clearer picture of the vans’ charging requirements. As part of this process, Mer carried out an assessment of the LDV vans and their charging specifications along with a comprehensive survey of Milk & More’s depots. This helped demonstrate how fast charging could be more cost effective than rapid chargers, without impacting on Milk & More’s existing operations.  

The vehicles are used overnight, meaning they are all back at the depots from 8am to 11pm every day. This enabled Mer to calculate that 7kW fast charge points would have the time to fully recharge each van, while also keeping each depot’s energy usage within its maximum capacity limits – breaching these limits can lead to costly surcharges from the local distribution network operator, so it was vital to avoid this.  

milk and more electric fleet

Mer installed wall-mounted 7kW dual chargers and worked with Milk & More to allocate a specific charge point and dedicated parking bay for each vehicle. Drivers access the chargers via an RFID card, making it quick and convenient to plug in when they return to base at the end of their night shift. It is also easy for the client to identify when each vehicle is charging and for how long it is on charge.  

The fleet manager can monitor charger health via the Mer Operator Portal, a back office system that also provides data on energy usage and savings on greenhouse gas emissions. The smart chargers can self-fix minor issues and if they can’t achieve this, they immediately alert both the fleet manager and Mer, helping to minimise down-time.  

“They have been a partner of ours from the very beginning. The team had a clear understanding of the direction of our fleet strategy and provided us with invaluable information to get us started as we moved to our new fleet. From providing charging for our very first vehicles in 2018 through to supporting us with additional infrastructure as our fleet continues to grow, they have been an important part of our journey.”

Mark Chapman, Electric Fleet support specialist at Milk & More

Phase one saw Mer install more than 40 charge points at Milk & More’s fulfilment centre in Greater London with 40 charge points installed at the Milk & More Fulfilment Centre. This was followed by roll-outs in Oxford, Southampton, Bristol and Birmingham. In total, Mer has installed more than 200 charge points for Milk & More. Mer also helped the client to successfully access the Workplace Charging Scheme grants, helping to reduce the overall costs of such a large-scale roll-out. 

Adopting electric vans was a core plank of Milk & More’s sustainability strategy. This fleet now travels over 14 million miles each year, equivalent to 565 times around the world.  

 

Mer’s mission is to make sustainable electric mobility easy and accessible to everyone.

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