Royal Mail in the UK is partnering with London Electric Vehicle Company to trial its new VN5 prototype electric van for parcel and letter deliveries later this month.
The 2.9 tonne small van is designed to operate at lengthy distances on a stop and start basis, comparable to a typical postal round and is fully chargeable at the local delivery office.
One van will be trialled on delivery rounds in largely urban areas during 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 programe of low or zero emission vehicle trials.
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.
"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," said Royal Mail fleet director, Paul Gatti.
"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."