DPD has opened the UK's first all-electric parcel depot in central London, and announced plans for a further seven all-electric sites in the capital.
The new 5,000sq 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 more than £500,000 refurbishing the site, including the introduction of a new 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 year. 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.
Initially, 10 Nissan eNV200 all-electric vans will be used. Capable of making 120 stops a day, they will be joined by eight micro-vehicles from Norwegian manufacturer Paxster – with 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.
Dwain McDonald, CEO of DPD UK, said: "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.
"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."