Jul 31, 2020

DPD to launch 16-tonne electric delivery truck in London

Sustainability
London
Dan Weatherley
3 min
ULEZ
UK-based delivery giant DPD is to trial “the worlds first” fully electric delivery truck in London in 2021...

UK-based delivery giant DPD is to trial “the worlds first” fully electric delivery truck in London in 2021.

A partnership between the UK delivery company and Scandianavan EV manufacturer start-up Volta Trucks has seen the design and build of a purpose-built electric truck designed for London’s roads as part of DPD’s sustainability and net-zero strategies.

The truck has been designed to be used in the UK capital’s ultra-low emissions zone (ULEZ) which covers much of the city centre, and is a vital area in which these types of vehicles need to reach.

The current issue is Diesel and other fossil-fuel-powered vehicles are heavily polluting the capital, highlighting the need for greener solutions to be manufactured to ensure a sustainable future for both London and delivery companies alike.

The design of the truck was made and manufactured following the opening of DPD’s all-electric parcel depot in the city back in October 2018, a UK first.

Since then, the firm has built a further two fully electric micro-depots which are fully in use. Located in Shoreditch and Park Lane in the city, they are the first of many depots to be built by the company as part of its “micro-depot strategy” which will see a further six being constructed across the capital.

CSR General Manager at the delivery and logistics firm, Olly Craughan, complemented the Volta Zero vehicle describing it as “an ideal fit for our urban logistics strategy”.

Volta Truck’s CEO, Rob Fowler had this to say: "As the world's first purpose-built full-electric large commercial vehicle, the Volta Zero was specifically designed to deliver parcels and freight in inner-city locations where today's air quality and noise pollution challenges are at their worst."

This news comes shortly after the company announced that around a tenth of its vehicle fleet are now fully electric, meaning it has reached its 2020 target nearly half a year sooner than it first anticipated.

At the start of the year, a total of 130 of the firms’ vehicle fleet were fully electric, this number has since shot up to 700 and it’s growing daily.

The company has said that almost five million emissions-free parcels have now been delivered and this is set to continue to grow.

Speaking about the firm’s electric vehicle targets, DPD’s CEO Dwain McDonald said: "We originally targeted 500 EVs this year, but with over 700, we have absolutely smashed it”.

McDonald did, however, voice the “huge frustrations” of the lagging supply of battery-powered vehicles saying “we just can't get our hands on enough of them at the moment".

He continued, saying: "We are calling on the government, and the vehicle manufacturers to do everything they can to encourage the development of more EVs, at affordable prices, so that progressive companies, like us, can become even greener, even quicke

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Jun 25, 2021

UK must stop blundering into high carbon choices warns CCC

climatechange
Energy
Netzero
UK
Dominic Ellis
5 min
The UK must put an end to a year of climate contradictions and stop blundering on high carbon choices warns the Climate Change Committee

The UK Government must end a year of climate contradictions and stop blundering on high carbon choices, according to the Climate Change Committee as it released 200 policy recommendations in a progress to Parliament update.

While the rigour of the Climate Change Act helped bring COP26 to the UK, it is not enough for Ministers to point to the Glasgow summit and hope that this will carry the day with the public, the Committee warns. Leadership is required, detail on the steps the UK will take in the coming years, clarity on tax changes and public spending commitments, as well as active engagement with people and businesses across the country.

"It it is hard to discern any comprehensive strategy in the climate plans we have seen in the last 12 months. There are gaps and ambiguities. Climate resilience remains a second-order issue, if it is considered at all. We continue to blunder into high-carbon choices. Our Planning system and other fundamental structures have not been recast to meet our legal and international climate commitments," the update states. "Our message to Government is simple: act quickly – be bold and decisive."

The UK’s record to date is strong in parts, but it has fallen behind on adapting to the changing climate and not yet provided a coherent plan to reduce emissions in the critical decade ahead, according to the Committee.

  • Statutory framework for climate The UK has a strong climate framework under the Climate Change Act (2008), with legally-binding emissions targets, a process to integrate climate risks into policy, and a central role for independent evidence-based advice and monitoring. This model has inspired similarclimate legislation across the world.
     
  • Emissions targets The UK has adopted ambitious territorial emissions targets aligned to the Paris Agreement: the Sixth Carbon Budget requires an emissions reduction of 63% from 2019 to 2035, on the way to Net Zero by 2050. These are comprehensive targets covering all greenhouse gases and all sectors, including international aviation and shipping.
     
  • Emissions reduction The UK has a leading record in reducing its own emissions: down by 40% from 1990 to 2019, the largest reduction in the G20, while growing the economy (GDP increased by 78% from 1990 to 2019). The rate of reductions since 2012 (of around 20 MtCO2e annually) is comparable to that needed in the future.
     
  • Climate Risk and Adaptation The UK has undertaken three comprehensive assessments of the climate risks it faces, and the Government has published plans for adapting to those risks. There have been some actions in response, notably in tackling flooding and water scarcity, but overall progress in planning and delivering adaptation is not keeping up with increasing risk. The UK is less prepared for the changing climate now than it was when the previous risk assessment was published five years ago.
     
  • Climate finance The UK has been a strong contributor to international climate finance, having recently doubled its commitment to £11.6 billion in aggregate over 2021/22 to 2025/26. This spend is split between support for cutting emissions and support for adaptation, which is important given significant underfunding of adaptation globally. However, recent cuts to the UK’s overseas aid are undermining these commitments.

In a separate comment, it said the Prime Minister’s Ten-Point Plan was an important statement of ambition, but it has yet to be backed with firm policies. 

Baroness Brown, Chair of the Adaptation Committee said: “The UK is leading in diagnosis but lagging in policy and action. This cannot be put off further. We cannot deliver Net Zero without serious action on adaptation. We need action now, followed by a National Adaptation Programme that must be more ambitious; more comprehensive; and better focussed on implementation than its predecessors, to improve national resilience to climate change.”

Priority recommendations for 2021 include setting out capacity and usage requirements for Energy from Waste consistent with plans to improve recycling and waste prevention, and issue guidance to align local authority waste contracts and planning policy to these targets; develop (with DIT) the option of applying either border carbon tariffs or minimum standards to imports of selected embedded-emission-intense industrial and agricultural products and fuels; and implement a public engagement programme about national adaptation objectives, acceptable levels of risk, desired resilience standards, how to address inequalities, and responsibilities across society. 

Drax Group CEO Will Gardiner said the report is another reminder that if the UK is to meet its ambitious climate targets there is an urgent need to scale up bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

"As the world’s leading generator and supplier of sustainable bioenergy there is no better place to deliver BECCS at scale than at Drax in the UK. We are ready to invest in and deliver this world-leading green technology, which would support clean growth in the north of England, create tens of thousands of jobs and put the UK at the forefront of combatting climate change."

Drax Group is kickstarting the planning process to build a new underground pumped hydro storage power station – more than doubling the electricity generating capacity at its iconic Cruachan facility in Scotland. The 600MW power station will be located inside Ben Cruachan – Argyll’s highest mountain – and increase the site’s total capacity to 1.04GW (click here).

Lockdown measures led to a record decrease in UK emissions in 2020 of 13% from the previous year. The largest falls were in aviation (-60%), shipping (-24%) and surface transport (-18%). While some of this change could persist (e.g. business travellers accounted for 15-25% of UK air passengers before the pandemic), much is already rebounding with HGV and van travel back to pre-pandemic levels, while car use, which at one point was down by two-thirds, only 20% below pre-pandemic levels.

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