The first batch of electric Royal Mail vans developed by UK-based Arrival Electric Vehicles have gone into service in London, along with a fleet of Peugeot Partner Electric vans that will go into service nationwide.
A total of nine Arrival vehicles will operate in and around London, operating at weights of up to 7.5 tonnes. The first fleet of trucks will distribute post from the central London depot.
Another batch of 100 electric vans for Royal Mail has also been ordered from Peugeot, and will be operating in Belfast, Edinburgh, Essex and Kent, along with other depots across the UK as replacement cycles dictate.
Royal Mail was “delighted” to be collaborating with Arrival, according to Paul Gatti, Royal Mail Fleet’s managing director. “We will be putting them through their paces over the next several months to see how they cope with the mail collection demands from our larger sites,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Peugeot EVs are entering service at 18 different depots, replacing vans that have reached the end of their service life.
“Our research has shown that electric vans are a good operational fit with our business,” added Paul Gatti. “It also means we are on the front foot for future changes in emissions legislation.
“We are continuously looking at new and innovative ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Improving the efficiency of our fleet by introducing electric vans is just one example.”
“European postal providers, starting with DHL in Germany, have been taking this approach for a while now,” said Ananth Srinivasan, a mobility expert with research consultancy Frost & Sullivan.
He added that five countries – the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain – had the potential to convert significant proportions of their fleets to electric vehicles in the coming years. Royal Mail’s fleet comprises around 49,000 vehicles.