Smart Transport

‘Dark hub’ offers electric vehicles to last-mile delivery firms

Port's dark hub to supplying EVs to last-mile delivery companies

Last-mile delivery companies are the target of a new ‘dark hub’ offering the use of small delivery electric vehicles from an inner city, off-street parking site.

The hub is the result of a partnership between technology company Port with parking operator Q-Park and is based at its Leicester Square car park which it is repurposing as a Mobility Hub.

The mobility-as-a-service dark hub concept enables individual couriers or delivery firms to rent small delivery EVs (including electric bikes, cargo ebikes, mopeds or scooters) from a Port urban car park location.

EVs are hired on a weekly or monthly subscription through the Port app, and the vehicle, parking, charging, maintenance and software are all provided by Port.

Once the courier has picked the vehicle from the hub at any time, they undertake their deliveries before returning the EV to the hub at the end of their working day. The vehicle is locked, parked and charged overnight and then ready to be rented the next day. The company says the long range and battery capabilities of the EV means it can be used for an entire day of work.  

Following successful trials in Madrid, the company is now taking its first steps to expand across Europe – with plans to enter the Barcelona market next. 

Port founder Kamil Suda, said: “We are hugely excited to be launching our first Port dark hub in the heart of London. 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.”

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