Royal Mail has taken the first in a consignment of nine fully electric trucks for use in central London, which it predicts will save 50% on operating costs compared to diesel trucks.
Developed by automotive technology firm Arrival (formerly known as Charge Auto), the 3.5, 6 and 7.5-tonne trucks will be based at Royal Mail’s Mount Pleasant depot in central London and will be used to transport packages between mail and distribution centres in the city and surrounding area.
The co-branded red Royal Mail electric trucks are the first to be produced at Arrival’s new 110,000 sq ft factory in Banbury and are prototypes featuring ultra-lightweight composite materials to reduce vehicle weight and bring an electric range of up to 100 miles.
Payload values and carrying capacities vary but the 7.5-tonne vehicle being handed over today (23 August) will be up to 5 tonnes. The trucks also comply with the Mayor of London’s Direct Vision Standard for lorries in the city and are autonomous ready.
Paul Gatti, Royal Mail Fleet’s managing director, said: “We will be putting [the electric vans] through their paces over the next several months to see how they cope with the mail collection demands from our larger sites.
“We have trialled electric trucks before but not of this type of innovative design and look forward to see what additional benefits they can bring to our existing fleet of around 49,000 vehicles.”