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DPD opens third all-electric ‘micro depot’, needs infrastructure upgrades to do more

Image: DPD.

Image: DPD.

Delivery giant DPD has signed a deal to open a third all-electric micro depot in London in a bid to accelerate electric deliveries in the capital.

However the delivery firm cited several obstacles to expanding its electrification further, including necessary infrastructure upgrades and the supply of electric vehicles themselves.

In a move demonstrating DPD’s eventual aim of becoming completely emission-free, the company has also backed a new plan from the Mayor of London and Transport for London (TfL).

The Freight and Serving Action Plan aims to decrease the number of freight vehicles entering central London by 10% over the next six years.

DPD already has two all-electric depots across the nation’s capital, the first having opened in October 2018. The depot is emission free for both incoming parcels and last-mile deliveries due to the use of EVs.

But the firm said obstacles to launching further depots still remain, including issues surrounding electrical infrastructure upgrades, site availability and the supply of EVs on the scale needed for DPD’s goal of having an all-electric fleet across central London.

Justin Pegg, DPD’s chief operations officer, says that getting enough EVs quick enough is a serious problem.

“I'd hope that the vast majority of the vans we buy going forward will be electric, but we are pushing manufacturers to make more right-hand drive vehicles available, more quickly.”

Whilst DPD’s efforts are concentrated on London, it could be a sign of things to come across the UK, with Pegg saying that the company is also looking to make “every aspect of our core business more sustainable.”

Measures outlined in the Freight and Serving Action Plan include encourage Londoners to use more sustainable delivery options such as ‘click and collect’, expanding the number of TfL sites with click and collect lockers, identifying plots of TfL and borough land that could be used for distribution centres, and the launch of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone next month.

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