First Bus and DPD 14

(From left) DPD staff manager David Scott and First Bus Scotland commercial director Graeme Macfarlan at the Caledonia depot

DPD has become the first company to sign up to a new scheme from First Bus offering local Glasgow businesses use of its extensive EV charging infrastructure.

DPD drivers will now have access to the Caledonia depot to charge their EVs while in Glasgow, enabling them to travel a greater distance while making deliveries.

The move aims to maximise the green potential of the charging hub while the First Bus electric fleet is out in service.

Located on Glasgow's southside, First Bus's Caledonia Depot has 160 rapid-charging points, supporting the operator's ambition to be emission-free by 2035.

First Bus has worked closely with Hitachi ZeroCarbon to provide the systems that will enable charging commercial vehicles at the site. Originally designed for the buses operating out of the Caledonia depot, it is hoped the 'Plug and Charge' solution will benefit businesses in Glasgow by providing the availability of DC ultra-rapid charging.

Graeme Macfarlan, commercial director at First Bus, said: "The partnership with DPD reflects the commitment we made during COP26 to help other businesses to achieve their green ambitions. We hope that this marks the first of many valuable partnerships and demonstrates the power that comes from working together to reduce carbon emissions.

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"Electrifying fleets, and having the infrastructure in place to support them, is a mammoth undertaking, and it simply isn't feasible for each and every business to build its own charging station. Reducing carbon emissions is a priority for us - not just to meet our own targets but because we're committed to delivering cleaner, greener journeys for Glasgow. We're already in conversation with other businesses and look forward to announcing further partnerships in the near future."

Added minister for transport Jenny Gilruth: "We all have to work together to end our contribution to climate change, and by making its charging infrastructure available to DPD, First Bus are leading the way.

"The Scottish government provided over £5.9m to help deliver the infrastructure at the depot, and I am delighted that it is being used to support decarbonisation of last mile delivery as well as public transport.

"Our £500k Bus Market Transition Scheme, which aims to support businesses prepare for our next round of capital funding, is currently open for applications and I hope that this announcement today by First Bus encourages others to think creatively about how government funding can be used to maximum effect."

DPD's aim is to be the most sustainable parcel delivery company in the UK and the company is on track to have over 3,000 EVs on the road this year and 4,000 by 2023, when it will be delivering to 30 towns and cities, including Glasgow, using EVs only.

Initially, eight DPD EVs from the firm's Cambuslang depot will access the Caledonia site, as part of the trial period. The expectation is that this number will increase to help support DPD's growing EV fleet in the city, which is planned to total close to 200 electric vans by the end of next year.

Olly Craughan, head of sustainability at DPD said: "The Caledonia depot is a fantastic facility and this is a really smart initiative between two brands that are investing in a greener future for Scotland. The partnership will be hugely beneficial as it will enable our drivers to access fast, reliable and secure charging stations in Glasgow during the day. Our plan is to be delivering in both Glasgow and Edinburgh city centres using only electric vehicles by the end of next year, and this is another step towards making that a reality."