Royal Mail is conducting its first ever trial of zero-emission e-trikes for letter and parcel deliveries as part of the company’s efforts to continue to reduce CO₂ emissions associated with its operations.
The 1,200mm (47in) wide x 1,968mm (77in) high e-trikes – which are predominantly powered by a combination of pedal, solar, battery and brake technology – are specially designed to help postal workers to deliver letters and parcels in a secure and environmentally friendly way.
The trial is scheduled to begin in late March 2019 and will take place in Stratford (East London), Cambridge and Sutton Coldfield, and will last for approximately six months. Once the trial period has ended, Royal Mail will make a decision on whether to expand the trikes more widely across the UK.
The trikes are able to accommodate letters, cards and the majority of parcels, and are designed for use on roads, highways and some cycle paths. Deliveries on the e-trikes will operate as part of a usual delivery pattern on suitable routes.
For larger parcels and deliveries at particularly busy periods, special delivery arrangements will be made.
Pedals assisted by a 250W electric motor power the e-trikes, and the motor itself is operated by a 48V lithium battery, which is recharged by mains power and supplemented by two solar panels positioned on top of the vehicle. Regenerative braking also helps to power the trike.
David Gold, director of public affairs and policy at Royal Mail, said, “As a company, we are committed to making changes to our operations which reduce our environmental impact, while ensuring we continue to meet customer expectations.
“Alongside our ongoing transformation program and the introduction of electric vans in locations across our business, this trial is part of a program of initiatives across our business that will ensure we can continue to deliver letters and parcels safely, efficiently and responsibly.”
Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, said, “I’m delighted that Royal Mail is trialling e-trikes which will take polluting vehicles off our streets – helping to reduce congestion and clean up London’s toxic air. I hope this trial will be extended and other delivery companies follow Royal Mail’s lead so that many more communities can benefit.”