A pilot test of the Volta Zero fully electric truck with DPD will start at the beginning of next year in London’s ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ).
The parcel delivery firm said that the electric 16-tonne delivery vehicle, which has been developed by Scandinavian start-up Volta Trucks, will support their ‘micro-depot’ strategy in Westminster.
DPD opened the UK's first all-electric parcel depot in the borough in October 2018.
Announcing the trial, Olly Craughan, CSR general manager for the DPD Group, said: “The vehicle is an ideal fit for our urban logistics strategy; and the fact that it will be the most sustainable commercial vehicle is a fantastic achievement too, and mirrors our own strategy to be the UK’s leader in sustainable delivery.”
DPD is also testing LEVC’s new VN5 electric van ahead of its launch in Q4. DPD’s CEO, Dwain McDonald, says he is keen to see how the technology can work in practice. "We will certainly give it a good test and we’ll see how it works out.”
The company has a good pedigree when it comes to operating a zero-emission fleet. It revealed it had hit its electric vehicle (EV) target five months early this month, with 10% of its UK van fleet fully electric, some 700 vehicles.
At the start of 2020, DPD had just over 130 EVs on the road and, so far this year, the parcel delivery firm has delivered close to five million ‘emissions-free parcels’, saving more than two million kilogrammes of CO2.
The firm estimates that, on its current zero emissions trajectory, it will deliver well over 10 million parcels on its clean, green fleet by the end of 2020.
Rob Fowler, CEO of Volta Trucks, hopes that his pure electric truck can fulfil a role in DPD’s fleet. He said: “As the world’s first purpose-built full-electric large commercial vehicle, the Volta Zero was specifically designed to deliver parcels and freight in inner city locations where today’s air quality and noise pollution challenges are at their worst.
“The Volta Zero’s full-electric, zero-emission operation is perfectly suited to DPD’s distribution requirements within London’s strict ultra-low emission zone, delivering parcels to central London’s customers in a clean and efficient way.”
Volta Trucks says that the new Volta Zero’s cab has been specifically designed to enhance the safety of the driver and other vulnerable road users.
The removal of a traditional internal combustion engine has allowed the electric truck maker to radically overhaul the cab’s design.