These cute electric Royal Mail trucks are now zipping around London
Royal Mail has begun a trial featuring nine electric delivery trucks now chugging around London and the surrounding areas. They’re still red and four-wheeled with the familiar insignia proudly positioned in the back, but they’re undoubtedly modernised: like Postman Pat was being rebooted for a generation weaned on the flashiness of Paw Patrol, minus the heavy reliance on cost-cutting animal labour.
The vans are the work of Oxfordshire vehicle maker Arrival, and come in sizes from three to seven-and-a-half tonnes, with battery lives that allow the largest one to travel up to 100 miles without a charge.
These Arrival-made machines aren’t the only electric vehicles Royal Mail is adding to its garage. A few weeks ago, the postal service committed to buying 100 electric vans from Peugeot following a trial earlier in the year, with plans for them to join the fleet in December. This kind of investment requires charging stations, and Royal Mail is in the process of installing charging points at its delivery offices around the UK to ensure it’s ready for the new vehicles.
This is an important development – especially in London where Arrival’s new arrivals will be having their test run. With more and more people entrusting their shopping to Amazon and the like, the city’s roads are filling up with delivery vehicles: an increase of 8% between 2012 and 2016. Worse, an investigation earlier this year revealed that these delivery vans are among the worst offenders for London’s poor air quality, emitting up to 23 times the level of toxins legal in the country.
Nine new electric vans won’t make much of a dent in that – especially as Royal Mail has a fleet of 49,000 nationwide – but hopefully this is the start of a promising trend.