Tesco home-shoppers can expect deliveries by a new concept electric van next year after the chain bought 15 of the environmentally friendly vehicles for its dotcom service.

The vans do not emit CO2 and are powered by a battery that can cover over 100 miles on a single charge.

UK manufacturer Modec, which will supply the vans, said it had interest from other food companies and delivery firms, particularly in London and the south east, because the vans don't need road tax or an MOT and are exempt from congestion charges as well as most parking restrictions.

"We've had hundreds of inquiries as people can see the benefits," said sales and marketing manager Geoff Reyner. "They can be refrigerated and with a top speed of 50mph, it's fast enough to make deliveries on time."

Tesco, which will start using the vans in the spring, said it would order more if trials proved successful. "They are very quiet - ideal for deliveries in residential areas," a spokeswoman said.