Royal Mail is partnering with London Electric Vehicle Company to trial its new VN5 prototype electric van – based on a typical London taxi cab – for parcel and letter deliveries later this month. The trial is an example of the Company’s efforts to continue to reduce emissions associated with its operations.
The 2.9 tonne small van is a durable vehicle which is designed to operate at lengthy distances on a stop and start basis, comparable to a typical postal round. Fully chargeable at the local delivery office, the van is designed to help postmen and women deliver letters and parcels securely, whilst reducing associated emissions.
One van will be trialled on delivery rounds in largely urban areas over the next six months, including locations in Derby, Leeds, Edinburgh and Bristol. The trial begins this week in Hockley, near Birmingham.
The prototype van forms part of Royal Mail’s program of low or zero emission vehicle trials. They are an example of the Company’s efforts to continue to reduce emissions associated with its operations, and to test the suitability of alternative vehicles and fuels.
The TX conversion is able to accommodate letters, cards and parcels of all sizes, and is designed for use on roads and highways. Deliveries during the trial will operate as part of a usual delivery pattern on suitable routes.
If introduced more widely, the cabs will complement the Company’s pre-existing fleet of 295 electric vans. The cab’s range extender would enable emission-free deliveries to more remote locations, and on longer routes than a typical electric van.
London Electric Vehicle Company is trialling the TX-based prototype vehicle with 25 company partners across various sectors, ahead of the official launch of its new VN5 electric van later this year.
A responsible Company
With the UK’s largest “Feet on the Street” network of 90.000 postmen and women, Royal Mail already plays a key role in keeping carbon emissions low.
The low emission vehicle trials, including the VN5 prototype, are designed to help the Company inform its long-term strategy, and to meet its environmental goals of delivering a cleaner future.
Paul Gatti, Fleet Director at Royal Mail said: “As a Company, we are committed to making changes to our operations that reduce our environmental impact, whilst ensuring we continue to meet customer expectations. Alongside the introduction of electric vans in locations across our business, this trial is part of a programme of initiatives that allow us to experiment with ways to achieve this, whilst enabling us to continue to deliver letters and parcels safely, efficiently and responsibly.”
Joerg Hofmann, LEVC CEO, commented: “Royal Mail is one of the oldest postal services in the world and, like our London black cab, is part of British history and culture. It is great that these two iconic brands are joining forces for this trial. The VN5 prototypes will wear the iconic Royal Mail red livery and be used on routes that will test the vehicles ability to the full. These trials are crucial to the final development of the van, ahead of its launch later this year.”