LONDON – The U.K.’s national postal service, the Royal Mail, unveils pictures of battery-electric delivery trucks it has begun testing in the capital city.
Nine BEVs with ranges of up to 100 miles (161 km) and of varying sizes and payloads are part of the trials to distribute mail from the central London depot.
They were produced by electric-vehicle maker Arrival, which recently opened a new factory in Banbury, Oxfordshire. The company’s website claims its unique modular-style construction process enables a single technician to build a light-commercial vehicle in just four hours and allows any part to be changed out in less than 15 minutes. Arrival’s Royal Mail trucks are being supplied in 3.5-, 6- and 7.5-ton sizes.
Current test mules will be fitted with truck-style wing mirrors, although these will be replaced by rearview cameras when the vehicles are commissioned by Royal Mail, Arrival says.
The U.K.-built delivery trucks will augment the 100 Peugeot EVs Royal Mail already has tested and which will be in full-time service from December 2017.
“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,” Paul Gatti, the Royal Mail fleet’s managing director, tells the BBC.
Royal Mail’s fleet comprises about 49,000 vehicles. Its initiative follows Germany’s postal service Deutsche Post using battery-electric Ford Transit postal delivery trucks in a joint venture with Ford of Germany.