Royal Mail begins new trial of fully-electric vehicles24 August 2017

Royal Mail has begun trials this week of nine fully electric commercial vehicles, from British manufacturer Arrival.

The vehicles – ranging from 3 to 7.5 tonnes – went into operation yesterday (23 August) at Royal Mail’s Mount Pleasant depot, in central London, and are transporting packages between mail and distribution centres in and around the city.

The co-liveried red Royal Mail electric vehicles are the first trial vehicles to be produced at Arrival’s new 110,000 sq ft factory in Banbury, Oxfordshire.

The trucks are built using ultra-lightweight composite materials. This, together with Arrival’s custom-built hardware, including power electronics and motors, cuts the cost of operating by more than 50%, according to the manufacturer.

The trucks are said to be ‘autonomous-ready’ and can run for up to 100 miles on one charge. They also comply with the proposed Direct Vision standard for the capital.

Paul Gatti, Royal Mail fleet’s managing director, says: “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 and look forward to see what additional benefits they can bring to our existing fleet of around 49,000 vehicles.”

Denis Sverdlov, CEO of Arrival, adds: “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.”

Laura Cork

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