DPD will trial a mobile power bank charging concept that could provide a solution for commercial van drivers unable to charge their vehicles at home overnight.
The OnCharge ZIR0 prototype charging system will be trialed at DPD’s Bicester eco-depot. The multivan trial will enable drivers to collect a take-home power bank 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 is a purpose-built ruggedized power bank, designed for fleet commercial vehicles. With a real operating capacity of 50kWh, the system is designed to improve the electric light commercial vehicle (eLCV) driver experience. The OnCharge system takes just 90 seconds to load in the evening and unload in the morning.
The OnCharge system has the potential to provide a solution to drivers who don’t have access to off-street parking and reduce reliance on public charging. The prototype trials will enable 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. The trial is part of OnCharge Energy’s Field Test and Development program and a key step toward scaling up customer production in late 2023.
Olly Craughan, head of sustainability at 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 power bank model can amplify our investment in EV and on-site renewable generation.”
Philip Clarke, CEO of 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 power bank that you can collect at the end of the working day could revolutionize commercial EV fleet management and help encourage more drivers to switch to EVs. DPD already has 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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