Royal Mail is to trial nine British-made fully electric commercial vehicles this month in partnership with Arrival (formerly Charge Auto)– the automotive technology company based in Oxfordshire, UK.
The postal operator has commenced the trials using 3.5, 6 and 7.5 tonne trucks from their Mount Pleasant depot in central London, UK. The vehicles will be used to transport packages between mail and distribution centres in the city and surrounding area. The co-branded red Royal Mail electric vehicles are the first trial vehicles to be produced at Arrival’s new 110,000sqft factory in Banbury.
The trucks are built using revolutionary ultra-lightweight composite materials that significantly reduce the weight of the vehicle and by combining this technology with Arrival’s custom built hardware, including power electronics and motors, the cost of operating has been reduced by more than 50%.
The autonomous-ready trucks have been optimised for inner city deliveries by using a battery that gives the maximum range to weight ratio enabling the trucks to produce zero emissions for up to 100miles. They also comply with the Mayor of London’s Direct Vision Standard for lorries in the city making the streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
Paul Gatti, Royal Mail Fleet’s Managing Director, 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 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 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.”
The electric-vehicle trials will increase Royal Mail’s efficiencies whilst providing Arrival with the opportunity to learn more about the delivery service’s operations.