Royal Mail Group – the largest fleet in the UK with more than 47,000 vehicles and a member of Optimise Prime, the world’s largest electric vehicle project - has signed a deal with EDF to deliver EV infrastructure.
The three-year framework will see EDF provide charging points, associated maintenance and ancillary items such as signs, bollards and wheel stops.
The initial scope for the agreement will see chargers installed on Royal Mail sites in the south east of England, with the potential for this to increase as required.
Paul Gatti, fleet director at Royal Mail Group, said: “As we continue to realise our EV ambitions, we are careful to choose the right partners along the journey.
“Over the three years we are confident that, alongside EDF Energy, we can deliver the infrastructure needed to power Europe’s largest commercial fleet of EVs.”
Philippe Commaret, managing director for customers at EDF, added: “Working with Royal Mail to install EV infrastructure at its UK sites will allow them to accelerate towards an electric future, and hopefully inspire other businesses to follow suit.”
The three-year Optimise Prime trial is led by Hitachi Vantara and UK Power Networks, and will see up to 3,000 electric vehicles from Royal Mail, Centrica and Uber take to the road, supported by distributor Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, Hitachi Europe and Hitachi Capital.
Royal Mail is the test case for charging at the depot, Centrica for charging at home with its British Gas vans and Uber is the test for public charging infrastructure.
Early findings have seen Royal Mail having to make investments to upgrade its access to electricity to serve a greater volume of EVs at its depots.
In July last year, Royal Mail announced it was 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.