DPD has pledged it will have 500 electric vehicles on the road by the end of next year – but it’s calling for urgent action from national and local authorities and manufacturers to help the industry move faster.
In a new white paper, the parcel carrier calls on operators, manufacturers, energy providers and Government to take action now, and says, “We cannot kick this problem any further down the road.”
The white paper, Delivering a Zero-Emission Future, says a discussion needs to take place with the Department for Transport and across the industry in order to better regulate electric cargo bikes, and to streamline the registration process for new-to-market electric vehicles. It also wants to see the Office for Low Emission Vehicles’ plug-in grant made available to a wider range of vehicles.
Local authorities have a role to play, says DPD, in ensuring that micro-depots are set up by final mile operators, while policy makers must make sure clean air and zero emission zone standards are consistent. Manufacturers, meanwhile, must supply more “economically viable” right hand drive 3.5t electric vehicles to the UK market.
DPD chief executive Dwain McDonald said: “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.”
He said that while DPD had committed to investing in electric vehicles and changing the way it operates in order to reduce emissions and congestion, it wasn’t happening fast enough and barriers to change need to be removed.
“We want to invest but we can’t get the vehicles we need fast enough,” he said, “while warehousing and distribution space is being pushed out of our city centres and there is limited financial support for new and innovative 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."
Meanwhile, a study from low-carbon aluminium producer En+ Group questioned 5,611 adults from the UK, Germany and the US in a YouGov study and found that 71% of UK adults now want to be told how much carbon was emitted during the manufacturing of the products they buy, while 68% of those who already look for this information were not satisfied with what they found.
It said that a third (34%) of UK shoppers were prepared to pay a 5% premium for lower carbon products while 16% were willing to pay at least 10% more.
Lord Barker, chairman of the En+ Group, said: “Consumers understand that the purchasing decisions they make can have a real impact on climate change. They are willing to pay more for products that can demonstrate a reduced carbon footprint but they are being denied the opportunity to help drive environmental performance simply due to lack of information. The transition toward a low-carbon economy requires immediate commitments from countries and companies to significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to report openly and accurately so that consumers can make informed decisions. The aluminium industry needs to wake up to this now.”
Image courtesy of DPD