DPD electric Nissan

Parcel firm DPD will take delivery of 300 new Nissan e-NV200 vans by May, in what it believes to be the largest single UK commercial electric van order to date.

It will boost the firm’s electric fleet to 450 vehicles, with a target to exceed 500 units by the end of the year.

This will see 10% of its van fleet being electric in each of its 68 UK depots.

The Nissan e-NV200 can cover between 124-187 miles on one charge and can be rapid charged to 80% in around 60 minutes, or to full in less than eight hours with a wall box.

It features 4.2m2 load space and two sliding doors for easy access.

DPD has been using the Nissan e-NV200 successfully for deliveries over the last 18 months.

It said feedback from drivers so far has been extremely positive, and the company has developed its own in-house training to help drivers adapt to electric vehicles, as part of a comprehensive vehicle handover programme.

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This latest bumper electric van order aligns with DPD’s aim to be the “most responsible and sustainable city centre delivery company and the leader in electric vehicles in the UK”

It follows the opening of the firm’s first all-electric parcel depot in Westminster last autumn, and the launch of a bio-mechanical electric-assist quadracycle called the EAV P1.

While DPD charging ahead with its EV commitment, it has been vocal about the barriers to more rapid adoption of the new technology: in a white paper late last year, it called on vehicle manufacturers to make more right-hand drive EVs available for the UK market.

Dwain McDonald, DPD's CEO, said: "This is a real landmark day in the move to a more sustainable future for the parcel industry. These vehicles are changing the way we work.

“It isn't just a case of plugging them in and saying, ‘job done'. We are rethinking and re-engineering how we deliver parcels now and in the future with different route networks and new types of depots.”

McDonald praised Nissan for making affordable right-hand-drive vehicles available in significant numbers and urged other manufacturers to follow suit.