DPD hails electric van fleet after completing Great British EV Rally

DPD staff taking part in Great British EV Rally

DPD has hailed its electric van fleet after two of its vehicles completed the 1,400-mile Great British EV Rally.

The Great British EV Rally was staged over five days and saw more than 50 electric vehicles traverse the country to demonstrate the capability of the vehicles themselves and show what is possible with fleet electrification.  

The DPD team of four drivers included the firm's head of sustainability, Olly Craughan, and sustainability manager, Georgina Burgess, alongside senior managers Chris Betts and Rob Cheeseman from the wider operation.  

Together they marshalled the DPD branded Ford E-Transit and Maxus eDeliver 3 down through Scotland, the North East to Leeds and then Rockingham Race Circuit, before heading across to the GridServe charging facility in Braintree, Essex. 

The teams then headed west, calling at Bristol and Cardiff, before the final leg down to Lands' End, via the Eden Project. 

Along the way, the Rally was designed to showcase motorway and roadside charging, including charging hubs, destination chargers and electric forecourts. 

The Rally also helps to highlight key issues such as how driver style affects the performance of an EV, with data on driver performance shared with the teams each evening. 

Craughan said: “The whole purpose of the Rally is to illustrate that operating a 100% electric fleet is no longer just an aspirational strategy. That's something that is hugely relevant to us as we look to double our electric fleet to 5,000 EVs. 

“I was really impressed with the charging options we were able to access right across the country. 

“I think we have certainly helped smash some of the myths around EVs and I've come away believing that we genuinely are on the cusp of a charging revolution in the UK.” 

Craughan says that the company already knew how “amazing” the vehicles were in the context of DPD's day-to-day work, but the opportunity to test them in different ways had been “absolutely fantastic”. 

He continued: “As one of the most visible green brands on the road, we are aware that we have a role to play in terms of helping to raise awareness among the wider public about e-mobility and how we can transition to a cleaner, greener future.  But I think this has been good for us too and will helps us showcase to our own drivers just what is possible." 

DPD opened the UK's first all-electric parcel delivery depot in Westminster in 2018 and aims to be the UK's most sustainable delivery company. 

The firm will have over 3,000 electric vehicles on the road in the UK this year and 5,000 by 2023, when it will be delivering to 30 towns and cities on all-electric vehicles. 

EV charging platform Bonnet partners with DPD 

Bonnet has announced a partnership DPD to provide its growing number of UK EV drivers with access to Bonnet’s app.

Bonnet will help facilitate DPD’s ‘clean, green delivery’ mission, particularly its aim to become the largest all-electric delivery fleet in the UK and the most sustainable delivery company.

Patrick Reich, co-founder and CEO of Bonnet, said: “We are super excited to be partnering with DPD as they establish the UK’s largest all-electric delivery fleet.

“DPD is committed to sustainable development, and on the cusp of significant scale up of its EV fleet. This marries with Bonnet’s mission to make public charging simpler and equitable for everyone that wants to switch to EVs.

“The app also ensures DPD drivers have real-time information on charge point availability at their fingertips. It’s fantastic to see DPD’s vision and transition at scale. Together we’ll make quieter, greener, cleaner cities a reality.”

Craughan added: “The app will complement our own charging infrastructure and help our EV drivers access the public charging network in a timely and efficient way, whenever they need it.”

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