Royal Mail has begun a trial of 9 commercial EVs in partnership with Oxfordshire-based Arrival (formerly Charge Auto).
The postal operator is testing the 3.5-, 6- and 7.5-ton trucks at its Mount Pleasant depot in central London. They will be used to transport packages between mail distribution centers in the city and surrounding area.
The co-branded red Royal Mail trucks are the first trial vehicles to be produced at Arrival’s new 110,000-square-foot factory in Banbury. They feature lightweight composite materials and Arrival’s custom-built power electronics and motors.
The autonomous-ready trucks have been optimized for inner-city deliveries with a battery that offers the maximum range-to-weight ratio, giving them a range of 100 miles. They comply with the Mayor of London’s Direct Vision Standard for lorries in the city, which is intended to make the streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
“We have trialled electric trucks before, but not of this type of innovative design, and we look forward to see what benefits they can bring to our existing fleet of around 49,000 vehicles,” said Paul Gatti, Royal Mail Fleet’s Managing Director. “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.”
“Cities like London will benefit hugely from a switch to electric, in terms of both pollution and noise,” said Denis Sverdlov, CEO of Arrival. “We are priced the same as diesel trucks, removing the main barrier to go electric.”