Fully electric 16-tonne delivery vehicle to hit London's streets early next year as logistics firm bemoans market supply shortage for EVs
DPD has announced plans to trial "the world's first" purpose-built, fully electric 16-tonne delivery truck in London early next year, as the UK logistics firm accelerates its zero emission delivery vision.
Built by the Scandinavian start-up EV manufacturer Volta Trucks, the Volta Zero vehicle has been designed to drive in central London's Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), where DPD opened the UK's first all-electric parcel depot in October 2018, the firm said.
The firm has since opened two more fully electric micro-depots, with facilities in Shoreditch and Park Lane opening last year, and it aims to open eight in total across the capital as part of its "micro-depot strategy", although it has not set out a target date for this ambition.
Olly Craughan, CSR general manager at DPD UK, descibed the Volta Zero vehicle as "an ideal fit for our urban logistics strategy".
Volta Trucks CEO Rob Fowler, added: "As the world's first purpose-built full-electric large commercial vehicle, the Volta Zero was specifically designed to deliver parcels and freight in inner city locations where today's air quality and noise pollution challenges are at their worst."
The news of the partnership follows hot on the heels of DPD's announcement last week that more than 10 per cent of its vehicle fleet is now fully electric, reaching its 2020 target more than five months ahead of the year's end.
The milestone brings DPD's fully electric vehicle fleet up to 700, from just 130 at the start of the year, it said.
Since the start of the year the firm said it had delivered close to five million emissions-free parcels, saving two million kilograms of CO2, putting it on a trajectory to deliver ten million parcels by the end of the year.
"We originally targeted 500 EVs this year, but with over 700, we have absolutely smashed it," said Dwain McDonald, DPD's CEO. "We know retail customers want this and the reaction on the doorstep is great."
However, McDonald also lamented "huge frustrations" over lagging supply of battery vehicles in the face of surging demand, explaining that "we would like even more of our new vehicles to be green EVs - we just can't get our hands on enough of them at the moment".
"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," he said.
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