July 25th, 2020 by Johnna Crider
Dynamic Parcel Distribution (DPD), a UK delivery service, has smashed its EV goals 5 months early, with over 700 electric vehicles now on the road. Over 10% of DPD’s delivery fleet is now electric, and a million packages per month are delivered in electric vehicles.
DPD had set a target for 10% of its delivery van fleet to be zero-emissions by the end of 2020. As a result of DPD meeting its goals early, it now has the largest electric delivery fleet in the UK. DPD has just over 130 electric vehicles on the road and is becoming the most sustainable delivery company in the UK.
As of July, DPD has delivered close to 5 million emissions-free packages and saved over 2 million kilograms of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the air. It estimates that, if it stays on its current path, DPD will deliver over 10 million packages in electric vehicles by the end of 2020.
Partnership with EAV
That’s not all. DPD is also working with a series of new and innovative suppliers who are focused on developing the next generation of electric vehicles. DPD extended its partnership with the Oxford manufacturer EAV to create a unique vehicle. This partnership followed EAV’s launch of the P1 electric-assist cargo bike in 2019. Considering the type of EV that the P1 electric-assist cargo bike is, we can assume that the unique vehicle would be some type of bike — but we could be wrong.
P1 Electric-Assist Cargo Bike
The P1 e-cargo bike could replace vans for deliveries, Treehugger points out. It’s an electric quadricycle made from hemp and cashews. These bikes are a response to the growth of online shopping in London, where air quality is pretty bad.
P1 stands for Project 1. It has a 250-watt motor and pedals while being steered as a traditional bike. It has a thumb switch to accelerate up to 6 mph and is narrow enough to fit down a bike path. It can also hold 6 cargo containers with up to 150 kg (330 pounds).
The fact that DPD is partnering with EAV to create another type of unique EV for deliveries tells me that not only is this company serious about electrifying its fleet, but it’s investing in an EV maker so that other delivery companies can follow suit. This is vital and much needed in the delivery industry.
Perhaps they are working on an EV for deliveries that are on bikes but also designed to protect the delivery person from the elements during the rain, winter, or extreme heat?
Dwain McDonald, DPD’s CEO, said in the press release:
“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.
“There are still huge frustrations. We are investing and expanding our operation because of Covid-19 and the enormous demand from online retailers. Parcel volumes are 50% up year on year and we are doing an amazing job. But 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.”
Time for Delivery rEVolution
In another article by CleanTechnica, we noted that the London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) rolled out an electric van with similar styling as its London taxis but with more cargo space and other modifications for package deliveries. It was noted that a total of 23 companies tested out the prototypes. DPD was one of the delivery service companies that used a prototype of the VN5 in its services.
Delivery companies increasingly see value in electrifying their fleets these days. In the heavy-duty industry, trucks such as garbage trucks are even becoming electrified. Even though there’s a pandemic going on and many people are focused more on their health rather than EVs, it makes sense that the clean vehicle industry is growing fast. And they should, since air pollution results in hundreds of thousands of premature deaths a year in the US alone, and many more elsewhere, and was even linked to higher covid-19 cases and deaths. A few states, such as Massachusetts, realize this and are expanding EV rebates to include business fleets to reward companies for electrifying their fleets.
Image via DPD