Automotive park operator Q-Park has teamed up with electrical automobile charging know-how agency Port to launch what it described because the world’s first “darkish hub” for zero-emission supply suppliers.
The hub at Q-Park’s Leicester Sq. automobile park in London gives a gaggle of state-of-the-art electrical autos (EVs), locked and charged in devoted docking stations, which might be designed for particular person couriers or supply companies to entry.
Emulating the method of so-called “darkish kitchens” that enable varied takeaway suppliers to lease kitchen area, the mobility-as-a-service “darkish hub” idea permits particular person couriers or supply companies to lease small supply EVs, comparable to electrical bikes, cargo e-bikes, mopeds or scooters, from a Port city automobile park location.
The EVs may be employed on a weekly or month-to-month subscription by means of the Port app, and the automobile, parking, charging, upkeep and software program are all supplied by Port, the corporate mentioned.
Couriers can decide up their automobile from the hub at any time after which undertake their deliveries earlier than returning the EV to the hub on the finish of their working day. The automobile is then locked, parked and charged in a single day so it is able to be rented the following day.
Port mentioned the method would enable supply and courier firms to supply zero-emission companies with out the necessity for electrical fleet parking, charging, upkeep and financing. “Provided to each unbiased couriers and supply companies, Port’s darkish hubs imply courier firms can automate at the moment labor-intensive fleet administration duties and unlock the complete potential of EVs,” the corporate mentioned.
The launch follows two years of R&D by Port, which has constructed each side of the darkish hub platform, together with a patented common docking station that may lock and cost any small EV.
The corporate mentioned that following profitable trials in Madrid, it’s taking its first steps to develop throughout Europe, with plans to enter the Barcelona market subsequent.
“We’re vastly excited to be launching our first Port darkish hub within the coronary heart of London,” mentioned Port founder Kamil Suda. “Electrification of the last-mile supply trade is each an ideal problem and alternative; we need to deliver Port’s answer to each main metropolis to assist the sector attain web zero and totally capitalize on the advantages of small EVs.”
The partnership was additionally welcomed by John Denton, head of gross sales and advertising at Q-Park UK, who mentioned: “We’re delighted that Port have determined to work with us to function from our Leicester Sq. automobile park. We consider that our protected and safe amenities provide a super location for Port autos to be positioned and simply accessed by couriers. We’re delighted to as soon as once more show why we’re on the forefront of Sustainable City Mobility.”