Parking operator Q-Park and technology company Port have teamed up to supply London couriers with a dedicated place to locate electric vehicles for delivery.
A selection of electric vehicles for delivery, including bikes, cargo e-bikes, mopeds, and scooters, are locked and charged in docking stations in an off-street parking facility in the capital city’s Leicester Square area.
The idea is that companies offering last-mile logistics services in central London can access the “mobility-as-a-service dark hub” to rent small vehicles on a weekly or monthly subscription through the Port app. The vehicle, parking, charging, maintenance and software are all provided by Port.
Couriers collect the vehicle from the hub at any time, and return it at the end of the working day. Port says the battery capabilities of the EV mean it can typically be used for an entire day of work.
The electrical vehicles for delivery can be found at the Q-Park Leicester Square car park which the company has repurposed as a ‘Mobility Hub’. There are 16 electrical vehicles in situ now as part of the initiative, but the plan is to expand this in due course.
Port is targeting the service at independent couriers and delivery firms, saying it enables them to automate currently labour-intensive fleet management tasks while also giving them a chance to select greener modes of transport for their work.
The technology company also says placing these facilities in urban centres opens up the network of electric vehicles for delivery to suburban couriers who can commute into central London and pick up their fully charged vehicle for the day.
Kamil Suda, founder of Port, said: “Electrification of the last-mile delivery industry is both a great challenge and opportunity; we want to bring Port’s solution to every major city to help the sector reach net zero and fully capitalise on the benefits of small EVs.”
John Denton, head of sales & marketing at Q-Park UK, added: “We believe that our safe and secure facilities offer an ideal location for Port vehicles to be located and easily accessed by couriers.”
Port previously trialled its service in Madrid, Spain, and plans to enter the Barcelona market following its arrival in London, as part of a Europe-wide expansion strategy.
[Image credit: Port/Q-Park UK]