DPD to invest €2m electrifying more of its vans and trucks

17 May 2021

DPD's James Atkinson. Image: Paul Moore

The delivery firm aims to have 250 electric vehicles on Irish roads by 2025 as demand for e-commerce delivery shows no signs of slowing down.

Logistics firm DPD is to invest €2m in decarbonising its fleet in Ireland with more electric vehicles as e-commerce continues to soar.

The company plans to add 100 electric vans and trucks by the end of next year, with a target of having 250 electric vehicles by 2025. It has deployed 30 electric vans in 2021 so far.

According to the company, its electric fleet will save 100,000 litres of diesel this year. Deliveries of goods in urban settings are responsible for up to 30pc of CO2 emissions in European cities, the company said.

James Atkinson, DPD Ireland’s sustainability programme manager, said the €2m investment will include compressed natural gas-powered trucks as well as electric vehicles.

The company plans to install EV charging points at 10 of its depots on the island of Ireland.

“We are on a journey of fleet electrification to reduce CO2 per parcel by 30pc by 2025 and be a leader in the world of sustainable e-commerce,” Atkinson said.

The Irish ambitions fit into a €200m investment strategy by the wider DPDGroup company, which is deploying 7,700 low-emission vehicles across Europe to reduce emissions and improve operations for delivery.

The Irish division has already invested €3.2m in electric vehicles under a plan announced in 2019.

E-commerce has boomed during lockdowns, driving up the number of parcels and packages that need to be delivered and the number of vehicles needed for deliveries.

Last year, DPD piloted a green last-mile initiative to test a “smart hub-and-spoke model” to deliver up to 100 parcels a day in Bettystown, Laytown and Drogheda.

Using a converted double-decker bus as a mobile depot with 12 electric delivery bikes, couriers were able to deliver packages speedily in these areas which would have otherwise used diesel vans.

The company said it is looking at running the initiative again.

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin