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19. 07. 2019 10:07

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Royal Mail swaps red livery as it literally goes green in major eVan order

Royal Mail is to triple the size of its electric van fleet with the addition of 190 new vans within the next six months.

The mix of Mercedes-Benz eVito and Peugeot Partner vans have a range of 93-06 miles and are charged via wall or floor charging posts.

The new vans start joining the fleet this month and will be wrapped in green instead of the company’s traditional red to mark the switch.

It will use the new vans to deliver letters, parcels and cards across selected locations in London and surrounding areas as part of usual delivery routes.

Royal Mail orders 190 electric vans

The investment forms part of Royal Mail’s involvement in Ofgem-funded Optimise Prime, the world’s largest commercial electric vehicle project.

Led by Hitachi Vantara and UK Power Networks, the three-year Optimise Prime trial will see up to 3,000 electric vehicles (EVs) operated by Centrica, Uber and Royal Mail take to the road to test and implement the best approaches to the EV rollout for commercial enterprises.

The project is supported by distributor Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, Hitachi Europe and Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions.

Royal Mail Fleet Director Paul Gatti says: “We are committed to making changes to our operations that reduce our environmental impact, while ensuring we continue to meet customer expectations.

“This trial is part of a programme of initiatives across our business that will ensure we can continue to deliver letters and parcels safely, efficiently and in the most environmentally-friendly way possible.

“Our research has shown that electric vans are a good operational fit with our business and we were delighted to have such a large volume in our daily delivery operations. It’s good news for our customers and the towns and cities which we serve. It also means we are on the front foot for future changes in emissions legislation."

With load capacities from 3.7cu m to 6.3cu m, Royal Mail’s vans start this month in London and the south east including Whitechapel, Islington, Bexleyheath, Dartford and Orpington in Kent.

Nicole Thompson, director, social innovation and co-creation partnerships at Hitachi Vantara says: “The Optimise Prime consortium is delighted to see the first tranche of new commercial electric vehicles on the road. By sharing data and collaborating with this industry-led initiative, Royal Mail is helping us pave the way for the mass adoption of electric vehicles in the UK.”

Royal Mail’s existing fleet already includes 100 electric delivery vans. These are delivering parcels, letters and cards to the doors of customers from 18 delivery offices around the UK, including Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Nottingham and London.

There are typically six vehicles in one depot, supported by a comprehensive roll-out of charging stations installed in all 18 sites. Royal Mail’s engineers are now capturing robust data on mileage, costs and driver experience. 

Royal Mail's total fleet is 41,500 vans and 6,200 trucks and trailers.

It is also working with Arrival to develop modular 6-ton trucks that will move mail across the country

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