9 Sep Electric Vehicles, sustainability and a DPD driver’s view

Nothing can stop DPD UK’s 25-25-25 green vision and DPD’s ambition to become the most sustainable parcel delivery company in the world. Red tape, a pandemic and challenging market conditions throughout 2020 has done nothing to stop us rolling out our electric vehicles (EVs).

To date (October 2020), we have over 700 electric vehicles (EVs) on the road. Right now, they’re delivering parcels to customers with zero emissions, zero noise and zero disruption of service. So far, our drivers have delivered 7,999,421 emission free parcels. That means this year we have saved 3,439,751 kg of CO2 emissions. And we’re only just getting started!

Expanding our fleet of Electric Vehicles for a greener future

We have already smashed our target for 700 EVs on the road by the end of 2020. These 700 EVs represent 10% of our entire fleet. We have ambitious plans to continue expanding our EV fleet, but there are roadblocks in the way.

We need the Government at both local and national levels to improve the infrastructure so that we can fast-track an all-electric fleet of delivery vehicles. For this, we need charging points to be available, but we also need manufacturers to recognise the need for 3.5t electric vans. These are ideal for our purposes, as we want as few vehicles on the road as possible. However, they’re currently not available, so we have invested in the smaller Nissan electric vans.

While we roll out our EV fleet in many city centres with a network of micro depots situated close to the customer base, we are campaigning for #needmoreelectric. There is huge market potential for right-hand drive EVs and we’re calling on manufacturers to answer our call for more.

A DPD driver’s thoughts on driving an Electric Vehicle

We asked Svetlana Karova what she thinks of her EV. She says: “I’m a driver of change. I’m leading the way for a cleaner future.”

Svetlana has been a DPD driver for more than a year and has always driven an EV. She says: “It’s really great for me because I can provide the same great service whilst also making a difference to the air we breathe.”

Customer feedback has been positive too, proving that delivering green is popular for end-users and our business. Svetlana adds: “I really enjoy driving my EV, it’s more comfortable and quieter to drive than diesel vans. And there is plenty of room for parcels!”

DPD drivers can charge their EVs at home, on the go or at the depot, making it super easy, clean, quick and efficient.

Part of a wider transformative drive towards sustainability

DPD is pushing hard for an EV fleet to transform the parcel delivery industry. We handle more than 250 million parcels every year and have more than 18,000 people. The parcel delivery industry is going to continue to grow and it’s vital that sustainability becomes the focus for every company.

As our CEO Dwain McDonald says: “We want to be the greenest delivery company on the planet by transforming every aspect of our operation.” Changing our fleet is one step of this broader strategic plan. The challenge ahead for DPD and the industry as a whole is to balance the urgent need to reduce emissions with the constantly growing demand for online delivery.

EVs will help emissions, but it doesn’t help congestion. DPD is one step ahead with this too and our Smart Urban Delivery strategy is based on three principles:

  1. Investing in clean, green EVs
  2. Creating a smarter urban delivery model
  3. Ensuring drivers can be as efficient as possible with the best tech available to them.

By implementing a network of all-electric micro-depots in cities, we can make fewer, shorter journeys. The first of these micro-depots opened in Westminster in 2018 and is a satellite depot for our Southwark London City depot. We’re developing a network of these sites all across the city so that we’re closer to our customers and far more efficient.

Dwain says in a CEO Today Magazine feature from March 2020: “The Westminster depot was a gamechanger for us: it is smart and it delivers tangible benefits in terms of reduced mileage and CO2. We’ve been looking at every aspect of our operation and challenging ourselves to do better.”