DPD is partnering with the London EV Company (LEVC) for a series of road trials ahead of the launch of the company’s new VN5 Electric Van later this year.
The VN5 Electric Van is a 2.9 tonne low emissions vehicle based on a Volvo platform and will be available in the UK in quarter four, 2020. The van offers an electric range of 63 miles and a total range of 300 miles when using its petrol engine to extend the range.
The team will be looking at how the vehicle operates in different driving conditions, and with different loads as well as on different types of routes.
DPD already suns a fleet of electric vehicles and is due to operate over 600 by the end of this year, equating to 10% of its fleet. The company has also created a new model for sustainable urban parcel deliveries, based on a network of all-electric micro-depots, the first of which opened in Westminster in 2018.
While DPD has successfully rolled out EVs and charging technology to all its UK depots, the company has been vocal about the challenges on the road to zero emissions, including the supply of enough electric vehicles. Range is another issue, especially in less urban areas, where DPD vehicles often have to travel a significant distance to get to the start of the delivery route and this is the primary reason why it is interested in the flexibility provided by the LEVC VN5.
Dwain McDonald, DPD’s CEO commented, “We have a number of routes where we have to drive a significant number of stem miles from the depot just to get to the first delivery address. At the moment, the limited range on pure EVs, means we can’t move away from diesel vans for these routes.
“We are keen to see how the technology works for us and it could help solve a few challenges. For example, we could use geo-fencing so that it switches automatically to electric-only on entering urban areas, including low emissions zones.”
Joerg Hofmann, LEVC CEO, added: “VN5 is set to revolutionise green logistics. Feedback from major business operators will be crucial to the further development of the van as we rapidly move to its launch in Q4 this year.”