Delivery company DPD has welcomed Britain’s first Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) pilot, launched in Oxford, saying it will bring long-term benefits to the city, its residents and the wider environment.
DPD was present at the launch with local driver Mohammed Bilal Khan, and his zero-emission Maxus eDeliver 9 electric van, one of over 40 EVs based at the firm’s Bicester eco-depot, which serves the city. In total, DPD now has more than 1,700 EVs on the road in the UK.
The ZEZ pilot will allow Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council to gain useful insights before introducing a larger ZEZ covering most of Oxford city center in 2023.
The pilot will work in a similar way to the London Congestion Charge and Ultra Low Emission Zone. Signs will be installed around the perimeter of the zone and on routes leading to it to notify drivers of the ZEZ pilot. Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras will be used to enforce the zone.
The zone will operate from 7:00am-7:00pm, all year around. All petrol and diesel vehicles, including hybrids, will incur a daily charge – from £2 (US$2.70) to £10 (US$13.40) per day depending on the emission levels of the vehicle – unless eligible for a discount or exemption. However, zero emission vehicles, such as electric cars and vans, can enter the pilot area free of charge.
Tim Jones, director of marketing, communications and sustainability, DPDgroup UK, said, “We welcome Oxford’s ZEZ and have been preparing for it for over a year. In July 2021 we opened our new, state-of-the-art depot at Bicester, which is a ‘net zero carbon in construction’ building and announced that Oxford was the first of 25 UK towns and cities that DPD would deliver to with only electric vehicles.
“To achieve that in Oxford, we have a fleet of 40 electric vehicles working across the city, which have been delivering over 15,000 parcels ‘clean and green’ every week, since July. The feedback from drivers and customers has been fantastic and we feel that we have really proved that these vehicles can work, day in, day out in the city.
“We fully understand that there will be challenges for businesses and individuals, we have been through the whole process lots of times and in lots of different locations and it hasn’t always been easy. But we believe transitioning to greener, more sustainable vehicles is the right way forward, both environmentally and commercially, and we are backing the Oxford Zero Emission Zone to bring long-term benefits to the city, it’s residents and the wider environment,” he said.