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11. 01. 2019 12:01

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DPD boss calls for urgent action on electric vehicles in eight-point plan

Dwain McDonald, CEO of the UK’s largest parcels carrier DPD, has made a hard-hitting call to vehicle manufacturers, energy providers, national and local Government to start working together to reduce emissions and congestion.

DPD has also upgraded its own electric vehicle (EV)  investment plan to 500 vehicles by end of 2020 - 13% of its total UK fleet of 3,675 vehicles.

"We cannot kick this problem any further down the road," says Mr McDonald.

The call follows the launch of a new, hard-hitting White Paper from DPD with an eight-point plan to radically accelerate the pace of change, including:

  • Manufacturers making more right-hand drive Electric Vehicles (EVs) available in the UK
  • Consistency across clean air, ULEV (Ultra Low Emission Vehicles) and zero emission zone standards.
  • New regulation to ensure the safe and responsible operation of e-Cargo bikes.

DPD has also announced that it has significantly scaled up its own EV investment programme and will grow its current fleet of 139 vehicles to 500 by the end of 2020.

DPD electric Fuso truck

However, there are still major barriers holding back more widespread EV adoption and investment, according to Mr McDonald.

"The decarbonisation of transport fleets is challenging, both operationally and financially,” he says.

“DPD has already made large financial commitments to buy EVs and change our operating models to help reduce emissions and congestion.

“But it isn't happening fast enough, so we need to remove the barriers that are slowing the pace of change.

“We want to invest but we can't get the vehicles we need fast enough.

“Also, warehousing and distribution space is being pushed out of our city centres and there is limited financial support for new and innovation green vehicles.

"We cannot do this alone.

“We need stakeholders from across a range of industries to work together in a holistic way to create an infrastructure that makes large scale EV deployment feasible.

"Change is difficult and demanding, but emerging new technologies give the current generation of leaders and decision-makers the tools to lead a large-scale cultural change - we cannot kick this problem any further down the road."

In the White Paper, Delivering a Zero-Emission Future, Mr McDonald shares the lessons learned to-date from DPD's innovative approach and the challenges faced, as well as sharing his own thoughts on the future.

The Paper focuses on the following eight key action points:

National Government

  • DPD calls for a cohesive industry discussion with the Department for Transport to establish appropriate regulation and best practice guidance to ensure the safe and responsible operation of e-Cargo bikes.
  • DPD calls on the government to streamline and remove bureaucracy from the registration process of alternative fuel new to market vehicles to improve fleet uptake.
  • DPD calls on OLEV (Office for Low Emission Vehicles) to open the plug-in grant schemes to a wider range of vehicles, increasing its flexibility and support for organisations like DPD who are seeking methods to support delivery of the Road to Zero strategy.
  • Policy makers must ensure that policy reflects the current technology available and does not regulate in a way that is undeliverable because of the speed of manufacturer vehicle development.

Local Government

  • Local authorities, London Boroughs, TfL and other key stakeholders should engage final mile operators to help establish micro-depots.
  • Policy makers must make clean air, ULEV and zero emission zone standards consistent and not create local policies that create uncertainty and unnecessary challenges for operators.

Manufacturers

  • Increase the supply of economically viable right-hand drive 3.5t electric vehicles to the UK market.
  • Continue to support innovations that will help enable the government's ‘road to zero' vision.

Adds Mr McDonald: "DPD is determined to contribute to a greener future for the UK through the widespread deployment of electric vehicles.

“Our vision is to be the nation's cleanest, quietest and safest emissions-free parcel delivery company. We call on manufacturers plus local and national government to partner with us to help make this vision a reality.”

DPD is wholly owned by France's La Poste, the second largest postal group in Europe. In the UK it employs 11,000 people, operating 3,675 vehicles from 56 locations.

Find out more: DPD White Paper here: Delivering a Zero-Emission Future

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