Royal Mail is the latest parcel carrier to trial electric vans for delivery as it pursues emission reduction goals.
The company will use the London Electric Vehicle Company’s VN5 electric van starting later this month. The vehicle is based on a typical London taxi cab and is fitted with a range extender.
Sized at 2.9 tonnes, the van is designed to cover lengthy distances with stops and starts roughly equivalent to an average postal round. The vehicle can be recharged at the local delivery office.
The trial will begin in Hockley, near Birmingham, and will be tested in Derby, Leeds, Edinburgh and Bristol.
Paul Gatti, fleet director at Royal Mail 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.
“Alongside the introduction of electric vans in locations across our business, this trial is part of a programme of initiatives that allow us to experiment with ways to achieve this, whilst enabling us to continue to deliver letters and parcels safely, efficiently and responsibly.”
Joerg Hofmann, LEVC CEO, commented: “Royal Mail is one of the oldest postal services in the world and, like our London black cab, is part of British history and culture. It is great that these two iconic brands are joining forces for this trial.
“The VN5 prototypes will wear the iconic Royal Mail red livery and be used on routes that will test the vehicles ability to the full. These trials are crucial to the final development of the van, ahead of its launch later this year.”