In line with is wider urban delivery strategy, parcels firm DPD is building its all-electric fleet in “double-quick” time.

By the end of 2020 it plans for more than 600 vehicles – around 10% of its fleet – to be fully electric, up from 147 by the end of 2019.

Six electric models feature on its new fleet, with DPD continuing to encourage vehicle manufacturers to up the pace in bringing new models to market.

Largest of these is a pair of 7.5-tonne all-electric FUSO eCanters, which carry out 200 trunking movements each week transporting goods into DPD’s city centre micro-depots.

These are joined by more than 300 zero emission vans, including Nissan e-NV200s, Peugeot ePartners, Mercedes eVitos and DPD’s “workhorse” 3.5-tonners in the guise of the new MAN eTGE due to roll off the production line this summer.

So keen was DPD to transition its 3.5-tonne models that it even ordered left-hand-drive variants for conversion in the UK, rather than wait until right-hand-drive versions were available.

For the ever-challenging last-mile drops, DPD opted for two UK-first options: Norwegian-built Paxster micro-vehicles, and a bespoke electric cargo bike developed with British start-up EAV.

DPD also focused on supporting its driver workforce to install home charging technology, with financial help available for set-up.

Judges said DPD demonstrated “a pioneering approach” and was “taking a leading position for clean vehicles in our industry”.



Menzies Distribution subsidiary Gnewt operates a 120-strong fully electric delivery fleet.

It has pioneered sustainable last-mile deliveries for a decade, to date delivering approximately 10 million parcels and reducing CO2 emissions by 67% per parcel. It has saved 687 tonnes of carbon and driven 1.1 million miles emission free.

While Gnewt built up its zero emission delivery business in London, Menzies Distribution has now begun to roll out electric vehicles nationwide, with 48 new electric vans joining the national fleet.

The national launch of the new vans has started in Scotland with three new electric vans, Nissan ENV-200s with a Voltia conversion, operating from Oban and serving routes across West Scotland. These vehicles have a ‘real-world’ range of around 120 miles, with Menzies Distribution working towards using renewable energy for charging across its entire operation.

The business also has the largest private charging infrastructure in the UK and has developed a smart Vehicle to Grid (V2G) solution to help relieve power demands from the National Grid.

This technology feeds energy from the vehicles back to the grid at peak times and charges vehicles during off-peak demand.

Gnewt has also been working on more aerodynamic van bodies which have reduced drag by 30% and fuel consumption by 10% to 15%.

In addition, environmentally friendly non-PVC wraps have been trialled on part of the fleet.

Judges said: “The Menzies fleet, via its acquired Gnewt business, is making great strides towards a cleaner future.”



Global parcels giant UPS is aiming to make a quarter of all new vehicles added to its fleet alternative fuel or advanced technology by the end of 2020.

This supports its business-wide ambition to reduce the overall greenhouse gas emissions of its ground operation by 12% by 2025.

The business began its journey with clean technology in 1930 with the very first electric vehicles, before modern EVs emerged in the early 2000s.

It now plans to expand its electric focus through a strategic partnership with technology firm Arrival, which builds Generation 2 EVs.

The two firms are developing a pilot fleet of electric delivery vehicles to be trialled in London and Paris. Vehicle design will comprise lightweight composite vehicles with a battery range of more than 150 miles.

UPS has committed to ordering 10,000 units from Arrival over the next five years.

The parcels firm has also tackled the challenge of simultaneously charging a fleet of electric vehicles without an expensive or disruptive upgrade to the power supply grid.

Its charging technology project, Smart Electric Urban Logistics (SEUL), was a collaboration with UK Power Networks and Cross River Partnership, established with funding from the UK’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles.

This saw the development of a smart grid operating system, with the UPS Camden depot acting as test bed for a charging solution to electric vehicles via control algorithms, which respond to network grid capacity.

Judges said: “UPS's commitment for cleaner vehicles is clear, working on a brand new EV and launching in London and Paris and building on what was their ground-breaking charging programme launched back in 2017.”