With online shopping and urban delivery increasing, one Richmond-based company that is seeking to ensure sustainable transportation of these products has recently been awarded for its efforts.
Earlier this week, Volta Air was awarded first prize of $110,000 at the 2018 Innovate BC – New Ventures Competition. The company has worked to create a sustainable refrigeration solution for the urban delivery market by allowing for a complete off-engine operation when at delivery stops.
“The problem with the existing delivery of fresh and frozen products is that once they stop to do the actual delivery, the engine has to run all the time to keep the temperature integrity of the products a level that it should be,” Volta Air CEO, Kris Malek told the Richmond News.
“The amount of greenhouse gas emissions that is generated from this process is huge and they’re just adding more to that as more vehicles are out there for delivery…the online delivery and the online ordering of fresh products is becoming a huge market.”
Instead, Malek explained that Volta Air sells refrigeration units that use rechargeable batteries or solar panels so the delivery vehicle doesn’t need to keep the engine running.
Some of the company’s big partners include Walmart, Save On Foods and other American chains.
“I hope (people) understand the importance of what we do for the environment,” Malek said. “Each vehicle that we are putting our electric and zero-emission product on, we are taking three passenger vehicles off the road in terms of the emissions generated.”
Each year, the Innovate BC – New Ventures Competition provides mentorship and support to startups. The 19th annual competition will launch in spring 2019.