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DPD completes Volta Zero electric vehicle prototype

Chloe Burney
15 November 2022

Parcel delivery and logistics company DPD has completed engineering tests with the fully-electric Volta Zero, as part of wider Beta Trials.

The Beta Trials are part of Volta’s Test and Development programme, which will lead to production commencing in early 2023.

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 electric vehicles on the road this year with an additional 1,000 by 2023. Reaching this goal means DPD will be delivering to 30 towns and cities using electric vehicles only.

The 16-tonne prototype vehicle, based at the firm’s Hinckley Superhub in Leicestershire, was test drove on a range of routes by DPD drivers (accompanied by Volta Trucks engineers).

Volta Zero is the world’s first purpose-built electric vehicle (EV), specifically designed for city-based logistics. With a range of 95-125 miles, the EV will reduce the environmental impact of deliveries in urban centres.

With both the driver and pedestrian’s safety in mind, the truck was created with a low, central driving position in addition a glass house-style cab design to give the driver a wide 220-degrees of visibility.

Olly Craughan, Head of Sustainability at DPD, commented: “It was fantastic to get our hands on a Volta Zero and put it through its paces, with our own drivers alongside Volta Trucks’ engineers. We had the truck for five days and it is very impressive. The Beta Trials are an opportunity for us to test the vehicle first-hand, while helping Volta Trucks see exactly how it performs in real-life scenarios and on typical routes.

“Working with the Volta Trucks team in the cab gave us a great insight into what they are doing and how the truck could fit into the fleet. Increasingly we are operating in low or zero-emission zones in major cities, so with micro-depots and all-electric city centre van fleets we have already transformed our urban delivery strategy. But there is a real need for bigger, green vehicles that can fit into that strategy.”

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