DPD electric van managed 1400 miles in five days

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DPD popped two of their electric van fleet vehicles into the Great British EV Rally and each DPD electric van managed to complete the 1,400 miles spread over 5 days.

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

A DPD branded Ford E-Transit and Maxus eDeliver 3 were driven 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. 

DPD had a team of two drivers for each DPD electric van 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.  

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. 

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. 

We already knew how amazing these vehicles were in the context of DPD’s day to day work, but this was an opportunity to really test them in different ways and they have been absolutely fantastic.  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.

– Olly Craughan, Head of Sustainability, DPDgroup UK

What is possible with plenty of planning and a host of pre-arranged charging points along the route is one thing. While a very impressive achievement, it’s a far cry from consumers attempting similar trips without months of planning and taking pot luck on finding a charging point conveniently where they break their journey each evening.

Businesses, and especially courier businesses, have a massive advantage – DPD plan their driver’s route in advance with their fantastic pre-advice of what time your parcel will arrive. That means they know the hours to be driven each day, they know the time it will take, and can make certain that every DPD electric van is safely back at the depot where there is a bank of charging points to prepare vehicles for the next day.

Overall, what the Great British EV Rally shows is that fleet managers should be in a position to confidently deploy electric vehicles. What it doesn’t demonstrate is that if everyone rushes out to buy an electric car tomorrow that a combination of range and charging points will enable them to undertake trouble free long distance journeys.


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