DHL International facilities manager Paul Bellamy, winner of the 1995 Fleet News Environment Award, said he expected the conversion costs of £1,600 per vehicle to be recouped within two years. The company is relying on a temporary refuelling station at its Lambeth depot, which it can use for six months without planning permission. By the time that expires Shell plans to be operating a handful of forecourt-based LPG pumps in London.
DHL's total fleet of 1,300 cars, vans and larger commercials - which includes 250 vans operating in central London - covers about 32 million miles a year. Until now the light commercial fleet - composed of 80% Ford Transits and 20% Mercedes-Benz Sprinters - has been entirely diesel, run on replacement cycles averaging three years/100,000 miles. To convert the entire van fleet will take three to four years.