29 Jul The City of Oxford leads the way for DPD’s 25-25-25 Green Vision

DPD UK’s innovative 25-25-25 Green Vision is officially underway, with the first all-electric delivery service now live in the City of Oxford.

The first initiative of its kind in the UK, our all-electric service in Oxford is the first of the ten we have planned. DPD is committed to delivering the same service in 25 cities across the UK by 2025. And by the end of this year, ten will be up and running.

Why DPD pledges to deliver the 25-25-25 Green Vision

The 25-25-25 Green Vision will save 42,000 tonnes of CO² emissions by the end of 2025 – that’s the same as planting 170,000 trees.

Our City of Oxford plan began more than 12 months ago with constriction of the brand-new Bicester Distribution Centre (DC). This opened in June 2021 and is DPD’s inaugural building that was constructed according to net zero principles. This means that it was constructed from the start using low energy options and zero carbon design principles.

The Bicester DC also includes 30 electric vehicle (EV) charging points for its expanding fleet. And it’s this larger fleet of EVs that facilitated the first go-live of the ‘green city’ plan. Delivery within the City of Oxford by DPD UK is now made only by all-electric vehicles.

We opened the new DC at the same time as the Oxford City Zero Emission Zone initiative as part of our intent to work with local authorities to support green city plans.

Innovative investment and a flexible approach to achieve DPD’s goals

Of course, the DPD 25-25-25 strategy needs a significant amount of investment, planning and work. In fact, it costs £111 million simply to convert the 25 cities’ fleets into all-electric vehicles. However, we’re absolutely committed to ensuring the remaining 24 cities are live by 2025.

The 25 Green Cities that will be delivering with all-electric services by 2025 are:

  1. Oxford (tick!)
  2. London
  3. Birmingham
  4. Sheffield
  5. Glasgow
  6. Leeds
  7. Manchester
  8. Liverpool
  9. Edinburgh
  10. Bristol
  11. Leicester
  12. Bradford
  13. Cardiff
  14. Coventry
  15. Nottingham
  16. Derby
  17. Southampton
  18. Portsmouth
  19. Plymouth
  20. Brighton
  21. Reading
  22. Cambridge
  23. Hull
  24. Stoke
  25. Newcastle Upon Tyne.

DPD’s epic journey to all-electric fleets

The increased amount of investment necessary to implement all-electric delivery fleets in city centres is partly down to the fact that EVs are around 40% more expensive than traditional diesel vehicles. And while cost and investment is obviously a factor in our move towards all-electric fleets, there are challenges that go beyond cost.

One of the biggest of these challenges is securing the supply of vehicles suitable for last-mile all-electric delivery. These are the vehicles that zip round to customers directly from the new all-electric DCs to complete the service.

DPD now has more than 1,000 all-electric vehicles on the road every day delivering to our customers. This is a huge increase from the number of electric vehicles we had in place in January 2020 – just 149! To make this leap, we’ve had to take an innovative, flexible and determined approach.

Always working with the best manufacturers and developers in the world

As the first European company to order from the largest EV car manufacturer in China, SAIC Motor, DPD surged ahead of competitors. The delivery fleet now includes 500 SAIC Motor Maxus 3.5 tonne long wheelbase vehicles and 250 Maxus eDELIVER 3 vans. It was this decision that ensured the delivery of the new all-electric service for the City of Oxford.

SAIC are innovative electric vehicle manufacturers who are leading the way in their sector, which makes them the ideal partner for DPD. Market leaders in battery technology, SAIC can supply us with the technologically advanced vehicles we need to fulfil our 25-25-25 vision.

We’ve also invested in all electric micro-vehicles from Paxster, the Norway-based specialist in last-mile vehicles. In fact, DPD was the first company to import these vital micro-vehicles that we use to deliver to the area that immediately surrounds the DPD London micro-depots.

DPD also uses the revolutionary EAV Cargo-bike. This is the only delivery vehicle in the world that can work on roads, cycle lanes and in pedestrian zones. The Cargo-bike makes 135 stops every single day, which is the same number as a typical 3.5 tonne diesel vehicle. We have these EAV Cargo-bikes delivery right now in London, York and Newbury.