What with transporting and delivering letters and parcels all over the country, Royal Mail isn't the most environmentally friendly of operations. But the postal service looks to be making a change in that regard, because today it started trialling new all-electric delivery vans.
Nine electric vans, made by Oxfordshire-based Arrival, are being put to work at Royal Mail's Mount Pleasant depot in Central London starting today. They're not all the same, however, and three different models weighting 3.5, 6, or 7.5 tonnes. All the vans have a range of 100 miles, but can top up the charge after this distance with a dual-power mode.
The fact that it's Central London got me thinking. Do delivery vehicles (specifically Royal Mail) have to pay the congestion charge? Electric vehicles are exempt from the fee, since they emit less than 75g/km of CO2. Maybe there's an ulterior motive to try and save Royal Mail money in the long run. Not that it matters, the more electric vehicles there are on the roads the better - especially in a city with a pollution problem as serious as London's.
The vans are some of the first electric vehicles to come out of Arrival's new factory in Banbury, which aims to build 50,000 electric vehicles a year using nothing more than robots and AI. In the past the company went by the name Charge.
This new trial comes shortly after Royal Mail purchased 100 electric vans from Peugeot, following a successful trial of the vehicles back in February. Those vans will go into service this December all over the UK, and Royal Mail is in the process of constructing charging points to accommodate its growing electric fleet.