The Royal Mail is clearly a bit worried how it looks when driving so many cars and vans about the place in this day and age, so has stepped up in a small way with a trial of a new hybrid electric van with quite a familiar silhouette.
Yes, it's a pimped electric London cab, as fairly mass produced by the London Electric Vehicle Company; branded the VN5 prototype as this is based on the carmaker's forthcoming VN5 electric van. As it's closely based on the hybrid black cab model it is not a pure electric vehicle, instead offering a 58-mile range on battery alone, then powered by a range extender engine. But it is some sort of start at least, plus the nature of the delivery service means more range is needed to get to remote locations and you can't argue with that, unless you want a future where you go to the post office to get your own letters.
The trial only includes the use of one VN5 van, though, which'll be tested on the streets of urban spots in Derby, Leeds, Edinburgh and Bristol over the next six months, starting this week on the streets of Hockley, near Birmingham. The Royal Mail already has more than 100 electric vans operating in London, though, albeit only extremely boring Mercedes eVitos and Peugeot Partners. [Royal Mail]