Royal Mail is to being trialling nine electric powered large commercial vehicles in partnership with Arrival.
Charging stations have been installed at Mount Pleasant mail centre in London where three 6-tonne, three 3.5-tonne and three 7.5-tonne commercial vehicles will be based to transport mail between mail distribution centres across the city and the south east.
Royal Mail is the first customer to use the co-branded red vehicles designed, developed and built by Arrival, the automotive technology company based in Banbury, Oxfordshire.
Fleet Managing Director Paul Gatti, said: “Royal Mail is delighted to be collaborating with Arrival and pioneering the adoption of large electric commercial vehicles.
“We are pleased to be the first fleet operator to take delivery of and trial these new larger payload vehicles which will complement the 100 electric vans we recently ordered.
“We will be putting them through their paces over the next several months to see how they cope with the mail collection demands from our larger sites.
“Royal Mail is trialling a variety of vehicles to see which work best for us and are keen to share our experience with other fleet operators who may be considering introducing electric vehicles. We have trialled electric trucks before but not of this type of design and look forward to see what additional benefits they can bring to our existing fleet of around 49,000 vehicles.”
Arrival CEO Denis Sverdlov said: “We are thrilled to partner with Royal Mail using our electric vehicles. Cities like London will benefit hugely from a switch to electric, in terms of both pollution and noise.
“Most importantly we are priced the same as diesel trucks removing the main barrier to go electric.”