Purolator Tests Low-Speed Electric Delivery Vehicles

By Chad Elmore18 November 2020

Purolator Inc., the Canadian freight, package and logistics solutions provider, is now using low-speed electric delivery vehicles in the cities of Toronto, Ont., and Montreal, Que., which it said will help increase network capacity, reduce its carbon footprint and provide greater fleet flexibility in urban centers. The new fleet of vehicles offers a last-mile delivery solution to respond to the ever-increasing growth in e-commerce, said the company.

“More than ever, we’re committed to helping dense metropolitan cities operate more smoothly through new delivery methods that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” says John Ferguson, Purolator President and CEO.

The company is testing new fully electric low-speed vehicles to reduce noise and traffic congestion when delivering within busy downtown core areas. The compact size of low-speed vehicles make delivering on busy streets with limited parking more manageable, said the company, as they take up less than half the space of a traditional delivery truck.

Purolater also said it will expand its fleet of electric-cargo bikes in Montreal to maneuver through pedestrian-only and zero-emission zones and street closures. Additionally, the e-bikes can be parked on sidewalks for delivery within restricted-parking areas. The fleet of e-bikes is housed at Canada’s first urban distribution center, opened with the City of Montreal.

Since the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Purolator said it has seen residential deliveries increase approximately 50%, including in areas designated as pedestrian-only or those with limited access for delivery trucks

As regulations around transportation and city logistics continue to evolve, the company said these alternative vehicles provide an agile solution with the ability to deliver the same number of packages as a standard-size delivery truck.

“Purolator has made important sustainability investments as part of our $1B delivering the future growth and innovation plan,” said Ferguson. “We’ve consistently evolved over our 60-year history to stay one step ahead of change. Our goal is to continuously innovate, adapt intelligently and provide workable solutions for the unique challenges of urban growth, along with the growth in B2B, e-commerce and home deliveries, particularly as the economy navigates through the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In the company’s 2019 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, Purolator underscored its commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. To meet that goal, the company will introduce new types vehicles to its fleet, with advanced technology to improve delivery performance and safety, complementing Purolator’s existing fleet of 323 hybrid-electric vehicles.

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