Royal Mail charges up its fleet with ten-fold increase in electric vehicles

Royal Mail has announced plans to introduce around 3,000 additional, low-emission vans to its fleet throughout the UK.

The introduction of the vans is a ten-fold increase to its current fleet of electric vehicles, and the organisation says it marks a new chapter in the company’s ongoing drive to reduce its operational emissions.

Royal Mail will also introduce charging points to all the Delivery Offices set to receive the vehicles as part of the plans, with the rollout of the vans initially focussing on ultra-low emission zones and green cities.

The vehicles are specially designed to help postmen and women deliver letters and parcels in a secure and environmentally friendly way. With load capacities ranging from around 3.7m3 to 6.3m3, the vehicles will operate as part of the company’s usual delivery routes.

The addition of this latest tranche of electric vehicles brings the total amount of electric vehicles operating within Royal Mail’s fleet to around 3,300.

Simon Thompson, CEO of Royal Mail, said: “Due to our feet on the street delivery model, we are the clear leader in low emissions per parcel in the UK. Electrification of our vehicle fleet will strengthen our advantage. That’s good for our customers, our people & the planet. We look forward to working with vehicle manufacturers and government to increase supply so we can accelerate our transition to electric vehicles in the UK. It matters to our customers, and it matters to us.”

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng added: “I am sure customers will be delighted to know that while their local postie’s van may be red on the outside, it’s greener than ever at heart. The UK is leading the world in tackling climate change, and action like this from UK businesses will be crucial as we look to build back greener from the pandemic.”

The move follows Royal Mail’s launch of its first ever Delivery Office last month, which features an all-electric fleet of collection and delivery vehicles. The Bristol East Central Delivery Office, located in the City’s Easton area, has had its 23 diesel delivery and collection vans replaced by fully electric equivalents – comprising the Office’s entire collection and delivery fleet. Six electric charging posts and 12 charging points have also been installed on the site as part of the transformation.

Bristol was selected due to the City’s plans for a Clean Air Zone (CAZ), which will require certain vehicles to pay a daily charge to enter its centre. At present, other Delivery Offices across the UK are being considered for similar fleet makeovers in coming months – particularly those in places with existing CAZs, or that have plans to introduce them.