Royal Mail has added a further 190 electric vans to its existing 100-strong EV fleet.
The vans are being deployed as part of Royal Mail’s involvement in the Ofgem-funded Optimise Prime project, which started last year and is billed as the world’s largest commercial electric vehicle project. The project aims to bring together leading power, technology, fleet and transport companies to test and implement the best approaches to EV rollout for commercial enterprises.
Liveried in green, the latest additions to the Royal Mail fleet will be used to deliver letters, parcels and cards to the doors of customers across selected areas across London and the South East, including Bexleyheath, Dartford and Whitechapel, East London.
Vehicles comprise a mix of Mercedes-Benz eVito and Peugeot Partner vans, which can travel between 93 to 106 miles per charge, and can be powered from flat in six to eight hours, charged via wall or floor-mounted charging posts..
The vehicles join Royal Mail’s existing ‘red’ fleet of more than 41,500 vans and, thanks to load capacities ranging from 3.7m3 to 6.3m3, will operate as part of usual delivery routes.
The addition of the EVs follows Royal Mail’s deployment of 100 Peugeot Partner Electric vans two years ago while the company has also trialled e-Trikes recently.
Paul Gatti, Royal Mail fleet director, said: “As a company, we are committed to making changes to our operations that reduce our environmental impact, whilst 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.”
Nicole Thompson, director, social innovation & co-creation partnerships, Hitachi Vantara, said: “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.”