Parcel courier giant DPD has smashed its own 2020 target for 10% of its van fleet to be fully electric vehicles, five months ahead of schedule.
It now has some 700 electric vehicles on the roads – up from around 130 at the start of the year – and says it now has the biggest, greenest delivery fleet in the UK.
So far this year, DPD has delivered close to 5 million emissions free parcels, saving over 2 million kilograms of CO2. The firm estimates that, on its current zero emissions trajectory, it will deliver well over 10 million parcels on its fully electric fleet by the end of 2020.
And it doesn’t stop there. DPD is already working with a series of new and innovative suppliers to help develop the next generation of EVs. Following the launch of the P1 electric assist cargo bike last year, DPD is extending its partnership with Oxford-based manufacturer EAV to create another unique new vehicle. DPD is also involved in trials with LEVC for the new VN5 and the Vauxhall e-Vivaro.
Dwain McDonald, DPD’s CEO, commented: “Despite everything that is going on, we’ve been really focused on getting EVs on the road and delivering for us this year. Yes, you need to be trialling new technology and looking at future concepts, but you have to start making a difference now, and that’s what we are doing.
“We originally targeted 500 EVs this year, but with over 700, we have absolutely smashed it. The feedback from the depots, our drivers and our customers has been fantastic and that has just encouraged us to go faster. We know retail customers want this and the reaction on the doorstep is great when recipients see that their parcel has been delivered emission-free too. So, that is a great base for us to build on.”
But while parcel volumes are 50% up year-on-year because of Covid-19, McDonald said the company is being hampered in its work to deploy more electric vehicles.
“We just can’t get our hands on enough of them at the moment,” he added. “We are calling on the government and the vehicle manufacturers to do everything they can to encourage the development of more EVs, at affordable prices, so that progressive companies, like us, can become even greener, even quicker.”