Parcel delivery company DPD has today opened the UK's first all-electric parcel depot in the heart of Westminster and announced plans for a further seven all-electric sites in the capital.
The new 5,000 sq ft facility on Vandon Street will be known as DPD Westminster and will have capacity to deliver 2,000 parcels a day utilising an all-electric fleet. DPD has invested over £500,000 refurbishing the site including the introduction of a state-of-the-art electric charging system that will enable the deployment of electric vehicles without major infrastructure upgrades.
Using all-electric vehicles in both the inward feed of parcels to DPD Westminster, and the final delivery to customers, DPD will initially see a reduction of 45 tonnes of CO2 per annum. This will increase as more all-electric vehicles and depots are introduced into the DPD's all-electric network.
DPD has deployed three new types of all-electric vehicles to operate the depot. Two all-electric Mitsubishi Fuso eCanter 7.5t vehicles will feed parcels into the depot each day, while the final mile deliveries will be completed by two different all-electric vehicles.
DPD has initially bought 10 Nissan eNV200 all-electric vans capable of making 120 stops a day, and DPD Westminster is running seven of these currently. DPD has also deployed eight micro-vehicles from Norwegian manufacturer Paxster at the Vandon Street site and has a further 23 on order. The Paxsters are delivering to the immediate area around the depot and are expected to operate 60 stops on one charge per day.
DPD Westminster is also home to the first DPD UK owned Pickup shop, with a dedicated access point for consumers collecting parcels from the site. The new shop will add to DPD's network of 2,500 Pickup sites across the UK, operated in partnership with brands such as Sainsbury's, Matalan and Halfords.
DPD expects to invest in the region of £3m on the DPD Westminster depot over the next 10 years, while the site for its second all-electric London depot in Shoreditch has already been secured. DPD confirmed it is currently working on plans for a further six all-electric depots in the capital.
DPD Westminster is aligned with the objectives of Transport for London (TfL), who will be introducing an Ultra Low Emission Zone in central London from April 2019. The initiative also supports DPD Group's strategic objective to become the most responsible city centre delivery company in Europe.
Dwain McDonald, CEO of DPD, commented: "This is a hugely significant announcement for us with Westminster set to be the first of a series of all-electric DPD depots.
"Reducing and neutralising our carbon footprint; providing smarter and more efficient urban delivery solutions and driving innovation are at the heart of DPD's DrivingChange programme. We want to be the leader in alternative fuel vehicles in the UK, with the ultimate aim being to move to a zero-emission fleet.
"Westminster is clearly the first step towards that goal and will be instrumental in developing our future EV proposition and strategy. DPD Westminster is an outstanding location and the vehicles are fantastic. We looked at a wide range of options before making our decision and we've been testing these three models extensively in recent months. In terms of reliability and performance, they have been excellent.
"There are still significant external issues to be overcome in terms of the infrastructure to support an all-electric fleet on the scale we need, across the whole of central London. But I'm delighted with our proposition here and we will continue to work with the key stakeholders to realise our aims and support the Mayor of London and TfL's ambition for a cleaner and less congested capital."
London's deputy mayor for environment and energy, Shirley Rodrigues, said: "London's toxic air contributes to thousands of early deaths each year and is putting the health of children at risk, so it's good to see businesses like DPD preparing for the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and helping protect Londoners' health by transforming their delivery fleet. Across the city the Mayor has taken bold action to help cut toxic vehicle emissions which are responsible for over 50 per cent of air pollution. With six months to go until the introduction of ULEZ in central London, people are more aware than ever of the harmful pollution older vehicles, especially heavy goods and delivery vehicles, can emit. The Mayor's ambition is for all new cars and vans to be zero-emission from 2030 and I hope this is the first of many all-electric delivery depots in London."
Our BQ Bulletin emails will land in your inbox at 7.30am, Monday to Friday, with a mix of the latest local business news, national news, and features to inspire you. Sign up here!
Click here to read our privacy statement