DPD partner with OnCharge to enable home charging for drivers

According to figures from the Association of Fleet Professionals, 70% of fleet van drivers cannot charge their vehicles at home. This is obviously problematic because having to use public chargers will inevitably cost the drivers thousands of pounds in lost time over the course of a year.

OnCharge Energy have a solution to this problem. Their vision is a network of drive-through hubs where, within 90 seconds, van drivers can have a charging unit placed in their vehicle. When the driver gets home, he/she activates the charger using an app and leaves it running overnight. 

As part of OnCharge’s field test and development programme, and a key step towards scaling up customer production in late 2023, they have teamed up with delivery specialists DPD to trial an OnCharge ZIRO prototype system at DPD’s Bicester eco-depot. 

The multi-van trial will allow drivers to collect a take-home powerbank from the depot, before driving home. The prototype power bank will charge the main traction battery of the van overnight, resulting in a 100% charge by the start of the driver’s day.

The prototype trials will allow OnCharge and DPD engineers to gather field data and review driver feedback. It will also provide insight into potential integration with DPD’s Bicester on-site solar panel array.

DPD aims to be the most sustainable parcel delivery company in the UK and the company is on track to have over 4,000 EVs on the road by the end of this year, when it will be delivering to 30 towns and cities using electric vehicles only. Nearby Oxford was DPD’s first ‘green city’, with all deliveries made by the Bicester eco-depot’s zero emission delivery vehicles.

OnCharge are currently looking for landlords to accommodate the hubs in places just as trade parks.

Olly Craughan, Head of Sustainability, DPD commented, ‘It’s fantastic to work with OnCharge to try this system in the real-world. Working together will give us the opportunity to really understand the impact it can have on our drivers first-hand. It allows both us and OnCharge to see how the system works under different scenarios and allows our transport and sustainability teams to explore how an agile powerbank model can amplify our investment in EV and on-site renewable generation.’

Philip Clarke, CEO OnCharge Energy said: ‘In terms of productivity, the most efficient time to charge a commercial EV is overnight, but around 70% of fleet van drivers can’t charge at home. We believe that a take-home powerbank that you can collect at the end of the working day could revolutionise commercial EV fleet management and help encourage more drivers to switch to EVs. DPD already have a huge amount of experience running a large EV fleet and the Bicester eco-depot is the perfect place to trial our solution. We are looking forward to working with the team and hopefully making their EV fleet even more efficient and effective.’



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