DPD Ireland switch to 100% HVO biofuel


DPD Ireland has deployed Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) as a replacement fuel for diesel in its heavy goods vehicles (linehaul) as part of a drive to decarbonise its Irish fleet by 2030.

The company is in the process of switching all its domestic linehaul routes to 100% HVO in a bid to slash its linehaul emissions by 87% (vs 2020). These line-haul routes carry parcels between DPD Ireland’s central sorting hub in Athlone and its 35 depots on the island of Ireland. This follows a successful trial of the biofuel which ran from June to September 2022.

Powering all domestic linehaul routes with this sustainable biofuel, DPD expects to reduce its emissions by over 4,350 tons CO2e per year versus a conventional diesel operation. HVO is not available yet at commercial pumps, which is why DPD Ireland is installing dedicated HVO storage tanks on site at its central sorting hub in Athlone. Once complete, the company will be able to supply 100% of its domestic linehaul routes on renewable HVO.

DPD Ireland Chief Executive Des Travers said the company began looking at alternative fuel options for its line-haul fleet after difficulty sourcing electric heavy goods vehicles.

The company is currently delivering more than 4,000 parcels per day by electric van, and expects delivery of 205 new all-electric Ford eTransits, more than double the target amount announced last year. This will bring the electric fleet to 258, nearly 20% of its total fleet, by mid-2023.

Unlike electric vans where you need to purchase a new van, HVO is seamless in that it can be used as a drop-in replacement for diesel in the transition to low-carbon fuel alternatives. The vehicle or engine does not need to be replaced, which is very inviting for companies looking to change their fleet to more sustainable means.

James Atkinson, Sustainability Programme Manager emphasised the importance of tracking. He said: “In order to validate our emissions savings, we are using a smart pump system. The HVO dispensed at the pump is automatically recorded to track our total usage. The vehicles’ odometer is tracked when the fuel is dispensed, and a digital record is kept that correlates fuel used with kilometres driven. By tracking the vehicle type, we can more accurately calculate the emissions avoided. This is a step up in our emissions tracking and enables better reporting.”

DPD Ireland last year announced a further €2m investment to decarbonise its Irish fleet with the addition of 100 new electric vehicles by the end of 2022. The company has already invested €3.2m since 2019 in electric vans and infrastructure.

Source: DPD