Royal Mail begins LEVC electric van trial

Royal Mail is trialling a prototype version of LEVC’s new range-extender electric van, the VN5.

The postal service is one of 25 businesses taking part in the test phase, which will last until Q4.

DPD was the first UK business to begin trialling the new vehicle.

LEVC, which also makes black taxis, is deploying a fleet of converted TX-based prototypes utilising a full interior van conversion, kickstarting trials ahead of official VN5 launch later this year.

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, whilst ensuring we continue to meet customer expectations.

“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.”

The VN5’s cargo capacity can accommodate two Euro sized pallets with a gross payload of more than 800kg.

LEVC says the VN5’s eCity technology meets the “demanding duty cycles” of various different sectors, and, for logistics businesses such as Royal Mail, the vehicle has been designed to provide ‘distribution to door’ – not just last mile – capability, creating a link between out of town depots and city centres.

Joerg Hofmann, LEVC CEO, said: “Royal Mail is one of the oldest postal services in the world and, like our London black cab, is part of British history and culture. It is great that these two iconic brands are joining forces for this trial.

“The VN5 prototypes will wear the iconic Royal Mail red livery and be used on routes that will test the vehicles ability to the full. These trials are crucial to the final development of the van, ahead of its launch later this year.”

Appetite for electric vehicles is surging among fleet operators who are recognising the need to reduce transport emissions.

LEVC’s trial phase will take place over the next few months and prototypes will be trialled with a wide range of businesses, from Tool & Equipment hire to Energy suppliers. These companies have been specifically chosen to put the vehicle through a variety of different use cases.

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