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Postman Pat 2.0

London posties, they may not all be called Pat, are getting a new fleet of electric vehicles.  And they are seriously cool.

The futuristic postal trucks look amazing and are made by Arrival.  Formerly known as Charge Automotive, Arrival are based in Oxfordshire.  The company have delivered a fleet of nine trucks which will be trialled on the streets of London.

New electric post office truck

Credit: Arrival

The bad news for postal truck enthusiasts is they will only be operating between Royal Mail distribution centres.  There is no chance of your local postie rocking up in one.  At least not yet.

What’s so special about these trucks?

What, apart from the way they look?  Well, Arrival reckon they will cut operating costs by 50%.  They are made from ultra-lightweight materials and produce zero emissions.  These eco-friendly trucks could help to reduce air and noise pollution in London.  The vehicles also boast bespoke hardware developed by Arrival including the motor and electronics.

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Speaking to the Banbury Guardian Arrival CEO Denis Sverdlov said: “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.”

Electric dreams

The initial fleet of nine trucks will be bolstered by another three later this year.  The trucks range in capacity between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes.  They aren’t the first electric vehicles to be pressed into service by the Royal Mail.  They have already ordered 100 electric vehicles from Peugeot which will be in service from December this year.  However, the new trucks from Arrival feature a bigger payload.

young woman posting letter

On trial

The trucks will go on trial before the end of August.  Royal Mail Fleet’s managing director Paul Gatti said: “We are pleased to be the first fleet operator to take delivery of and trial these new larger payload vehicles which will complement the 100 electric vans we recently ordered.

“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.

“Royal Mail is trialling a variety of vehicles to see which work best for us and are keen to share our experience with other fleet operators who may be considering introducing electric vehicles.  We have trialled electric trucks before but not of this type of design.”

Gradual roll out?

The new electric vehicles are to be welcomed.  But the Royal Mail has a way to go yet to catch up with their European counterparts.

royal mail van

On their way out? Image by Route66 / Shutterstock.com

Postal providers in Europe have been using electric vehicles for some time.  It is estimated over 100,000 will be in use by 2025.  Mostly in France, Germany, Italy and Spain.  In the UK the Royal Mail has close to 50,000 vehicles of all types.  The target will be to gradually replace all the smaller capacity vans used in urban areas though there is no timeframe on when this could be achieved.

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Craig Ellyard

Token old guy in the office and lifelong Hull City fan with all the psychological issues that brings. To relax I enjoy walking my two Labradors, as well as running and cycling.

1 comment

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  1. Alan Moore 2 November, 2017 at 09:47

    It’s a shame they got rid of the bicycles for the ‘last mile’.. although it was ostensibly because there are more packages and fewer letters these days. Time, I think, to bring back a 21st Century version: the electric cargo bike, as already used by DHL.

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