The UK’s leading next-day parcel delivery firm, DPD, has confirmed that it is to partner with the London EV Company (LEVC) for a series of road trials ahead of the launch of the company’s new VN5 Electric Van later this year.
LEVC, formally known as The London Taxi Company, is the brand behind the iconic London black taxicabs. The company created the world’s first EV taxi in 2017, which was designed and manufactured at the firm’s Coventry base – the first dedicated EV car plant in the UK.
The VN5 Electric Van is a 2.5 tonne low emissions vehicle and will be available in the UK in quarter four, 2020. The Range Extending Vehicle will offer a fully electric powertrain with a Pure EV range of 63 miles, and a total flexible range of over 300 miles.
DPD will be testing the technology using a specially adapted LEVC vehicle. The team will be looking at how the vehicle operates in different driving conditions, and with different loads and on different types of routes, using the full capability of the range extending technology.
DPD is already on track to have over 600 electric vehicles by the end of this year, equating to 10% of its fleet. The company has also created a new model for sustainable urban parcel deliveries, based on a network of all-electric micro-depots, the first of which opened in Westminster in 2018.
While DPD has successfully rolled out EVs and charging technology to all its UK depots, the company has been vocal about the challenges on the road to zero emissions, including the supply of enough electric vehicles. Range is another issue, especially in less urban areas, where DPD vehicles often have to travel a significant distance to get to the start of the delivery route. Hence the interest in the VN5.