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Avoid Challenges Facing Last Mile Delivery, Switch to an EV Fleet

Last mile delivery operators must continue to electrify their fleets, or face being left behind.

ev charging delivery

Cutting carbon from the last mile is increasingly important to businesses and consumers. In this article, we explore how being at the forefront of the EV transition can help last mile delivery operators get ahead of the competition by: 

  • Meeting business and consumer expectations 
  • Cutting costs and carbon emissions 
  • Ensuring that infrastructure fully supports fleet operability. 

The challenge ahead

Last mile logistics operators are used to a challenge. This is a highly competitive sector with tight margins and one where customers increasingly demand faster and more transparent fulfilment. 

There are also three further demands on last mile delivery companies, all centred around sustainability. Firstly, consumers want their online shopping delivered in more sustainable ways – this is the finding repeated in customer surveys from the past few years. Essentially, if you want to keep their custom, you will need to offer greener deliveries. 

Secondly, larger companies are required to report their carbon footprints, and are working with their suppliers and logistics partners to drive down their emissions. This offers a huge opportunity to win new business for those who proactively adopt EVs and effectively communicate this change to their B2B client base. In short, with EVs you can potentially win new contracts and also help retain existing ones. 

Thirdly, legislation and regulations continue to tighten in terms of vehicle access to city centres. All the indications are that we will continue to see local authorities address air quality by restricting access for more polluting vans and trucks. 

Cutting costs and emissions

Last mile logistics has the potential to play a key role in the green cities of the future. Helping to cut congestion and emissions without impacting the volume of deliveries will be vital – in fact, if operators do not embrace this opportunity, they risk being left behind by their competitors. Switching to EVs can improve your business resilience and help future-proof your company. 

In addition, if you look at the total ownership costs of electric vehicles (EVs), the battery-powered vans are looking like a smart investment for last mile logistics operators. And the business case gets even better if EVs can help you avoid charges from clean air zones.

The importance of infrastructure 

Whether you are electrifying your first vehicles or planning the next stage in your EV fleet roll-out, it is vital to understand the infrastructure requirements. A failure to effectively plan your charging needs could end up delaying deployment as you will not be able to efficiently keep the vehicles powered and ready to go, leading to operational failures and unhappy customers.  

Be wary of a charging provider who simply asks what chargers you want and sells them to you – there are many more complexities that need to be properly considered. At Mer, we take a methodical and consultative approach, with questions including: 

  • How many EVs need charging? 
  • How much electricity does your site consume and what spare capacity is available from the grid? 
  • What mileage do your vehicles cover each day? 
  • When do the vehicles return to base and for how long? 
  • Where will the chargers be located? 
  • Are you planning on adding more EVs in the future? 

From your perspective, questions to ask potential charge point providers include: 

  • How robust and reliable are the chargers? 
  • What level of support do you provide for service, maintenance and repair? 
  • What information does your back-office system provide and how easy is it to use? 

Ultimately, picking a charging partner with a track record of working within your sector is much more likely to save you money and hassle in the long run. You can read more here about how we helped electrify IKEA’s last mile fleet. 

How to electrify your last mile delivery fleet


Transitioning to an electric last mile delivery fleet can improve business resilience, help with customer retention, and save you money. However, it does require a clear strategy and the right partners to help you execute it. Last mile logistics operators are experts at implementing new technology to enhance their operations – but can still feel daunted by the multiple facets of the EV transition. If you’re wondering where to start, or what next steps to take, Mer has the answers.  

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