Royal Mail has announced that it will trial nine electric commercial vehicles from today (August 23) in partnership with UK-based automotive technology developer Arrival, formerly Charge Auto.
The trials will take place at Royal Mail’s Mount Pleasant depot in central London where it will use 3.5-, 6- and 7.5-ton trucks to transport packages between distribution centers in the city and surrounding area. The co-branded red Royal Mail electric vehicles are the first to be produced at Arrival’s new 110,000ft² factory in Banbury, Oxfordshire.
The combination of ultra-lightweight composite materials with Arrival’s custom built hardware, including power electronics and motors, has enabled the manufacturer to reduce operating costs by more than 50% when compared with traditional diesel delivery vehicles. Arrival also claims that the trucks can be easily adapted to work autonomously if required.
The trucks have been optimized for inner city deliveries by using a sophisticated battery that enables the trucks to produce zero emissions for up to 100 miles. They also comply with London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s Direct Vision Standard for lorries in the city, making the streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
Paul Gatti, managing director, Royal Mail Fleet, said, “Royal Mail is delighted to be collaborating with Arrival and pioneering the adoption of large electric commercial vehicles. 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.
“We have trialled electric trucks before but not of this type of innovative design. We look forward to seeing what additional benefits they can bring to our existing fleet of around 49,000 vehicles.”
Denis Sverdlov, CEO of Arrival, said, “We are thrilled to partner with Royal Mail using our electric vehicles. Cities like London will benefit hugely from a switch to electric, in terms of both pollution and noise. Most importantly we are priced the same as diesel trucks removing the main barrier to go electric.”
August 23, 2017