Royal Mail is to triple the size of its electric van fleet with the addition of 190 new models by the end of the year.
The company, which will use the new vans to deliver letters, parcels and cards across selected locations in London and surrounding areas, introduced 100 EVs last year.
The investment forms part of Royal Mail’s involvement in Ofgem-funded Optimise Prime – the world’s largest commercial electric vehicle project.
The new vans will begin to join the fleet this month and will be wrapped in green instead of the company’s traditional red to mark the occasion.
Paul Gatti, fleet director at Royal Mail said: “As a company we are committed to making changes to our operations that reduce our environmental impact, while ensuring we continue to meet customer expectations.
“This trial is part of a programme of initiatives across our business that will ensure we can continue to deliver letters and parcels safely, efficiently and in the most environmentally-friendly way possible.”
The mix of Mercedes-Benz eVito and Peugeot Partner vans can travel between 93 and 106 miles per charge, and are charged via wall or floor mounted charging posts.
The vehicles will have load capacities ranging from 3.7cu m to 6.3cu m and will operate as part fo usual delivery routes.
They will be launched during July across selected locations in London and the south east including Whitechapel, Islington, Bexleyheath, Dartford and Orpington in Kent.
Optimise Prime is led by Hitachi Vantara and UK Power Networks, the initiative aims to bring together leading power, technology, fleet and transport companies – including SSEN, Uber and Centrica – to test and implement the best approaches to the EV rollout for commercial enterprises.
Nicole Thompson, director, social innovation and co-creation partnerships at Hitachi Vantara said: “The Optimise Prime consortium is delighted to see the first tranche of new commercial electric vehicles on the road. By sharing data and collaborating with this industry-led initiative, Royal Mail is helping us pave the way for the mass adoption of electric vehicles in the UK.”