Royal Mail passes 3,000 electric vehicles (EVs) milestone across its delivery and collection fleet in the UK

Royal Mail have announced that it has passed the milestone of 3,000 electric vehicles (EVs) across its delivery and collection fleet in the UK. The roll-out includes many cities where low emission zones are in force, including London, Bristol, Glasgow, Cambridge and Oxford.

This is an impressive figure from the Royal Mail. The company has not made a big deal about the move to electric vehicle use and have been quietly getting on with the use of zero emissions vehicles for its deliveries. Impressive.

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The 3,000th electric vehicle was deployed at Peterborough Delivery Office, which currently has 106 vehicles on site. All deliveries and collection functions from this office are operated by a fully electric fleet.

Simon Thompson, Royal Mail CEO, said: “Environment is the next battleground for businesses, and we are determined to lead. We already have the lowest emissions per parcel and have set an ambitious target to reduce to 50 gCO2e, about the same as having a cup of tea with milk. The transition to electric vehicles is a key part of our strategy to reduce our emissions whilst delivering a seven-day parcel service to our customers.

“We now merchandise the emissions per parcel for every delivery on the Royal Mail App, so customers can understand the impact of their order on the planet. As a business, we are leading the change to achieving a more sustainable future for our fleet and our planet – with our colleagues on the frontline championing the vehicles and the move to an all-electric fleet.”

So far, 70 delivery offices across the country have made the transition to move to either full or part electric deliveries and collections. The first site that went live with an all-electric fleet was Bristol in June 2021. The most recent to go live with the expectation of achieving 100 percent electrification is Letchworth, which started the journey in July 2022.

Jane Hunt MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets) said: “In expanding its EV fleet to over 3,000 electric vans, Royal Mail is going the extra mile to decarbonise our roads and help create a more sustainable future for the delivery sector. 

“Thanks to government investment, the UK has a leading position in the design, manufacture, and use of zero emissions vehicles, which helps to stimulate employment, investment and export opportunities. It is great to see more businesses like Royal Mail taking advantage of this by making the switch to electric.”

Paul Bristow, MP for Peterborough, said: “I loved driving this electric vehicle today at the Royal Mail Delivery Office and Mail Centre in Werrington. It’s important the Royal Mail invest in electric vehicles as they are better for their staff as well as the environment. 

“The last time I was at the office I was collecting a letter so to see everything behind the scenes was brilliant. Thank you to all the hard-working staff and our posties.”

In addition to the vehicles already in use, the business is announcing a deal signed for a further 2,000 electric Peugeot vehicles. The new vehicles comprise 1,000 Peugeot e-Partner and 1000 Peugeot e-Expert models and are due to be delivered to the business from August as part of the company’s plans to have 5,500 electric vehicles by Spring 2023. Royal Mail is also investing £12.5 million in charging infrastructure across the country in 2022/23 to support this. 

Julie David, Peugeot UK managing director, said: “Peugeot began its relationship with Royal Mail in 2009 and I am incredibly pleased that we can continue this support with models from our award-winning electric van range. 

“The Peugeot e-Partner and e-Expert make no compromise on useful volume or practicality compared with the diesel versions, whilst offering all the advantages of lower running costs, ease of driving, immediate throttle response, high torque and the absence of noise, vibrations and tailpipe emissions.  

“With every van in our range already benefitting from an electric version and every car offering an electrified variant by 2024, we look forward to continuing our support of the Royal Mail and its ambition for a greener future.”

The expansion of alternative fuel vehicles demonstrates the company’s commitment to reducing emissions associated with its operations and to delivering a cleaner future. Royal Mail already has the lowest reported CO2e emissions per parcel amongst major UK delivery companies. 

It boasts a unique “Feet on the Street” network of over 90,000 postmen and women, with three-quarters of parcel deliveries made purely by foot or through a park and loop method. This combines low mileage van movements with on-foot deliveries which keeps emissions low.

With lower maintenance requirements, the electric fleet promises more on-road time and higher levels of reliability. They can travel up to 130 miles (210km) in-between charges, depending on vehicle type, weather and load size.

The fully electric vans have up to 38 percent larger load space than the vehicles they have replaced, giving them the additional capacity to deal with growing parcel volumes. With lower maintenance requirements, the electric fleet promises more on-road time and higher levels of reliability. 

This is a great example proving that swapping a commercial fleet for electric vehicles not only reduces pollution but saves on running costs, maintenance and less downtime. 

Ian Osborne
Ian Osborne
Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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