It doesn’t take a genius to know that any kind of courier service probably isn’t the most environmentally friendly. Due to the large number of trucks they have on the road. And that is why the Royal Mail is moving their fleet to fully electric vans. The vans are going to be made right in England by the company Arrival. To start, they will have nine commercial trucks of different sizes. The trucks will be able to go up to 100 miles and will start operating out of the Royal Mail’s central London depot, starting soon.
The electric vans are among the first vehicles rolling off hte production line at Arrival’s new Banbury factory. Which has the ability to produce over 50,000 electric vehicles per year using nothing but robots and some AI. You’ve probably never heard of Arrival. I haven’t. But the company was previously known as Charge or Charge Auto before now. You might remember Charge, as its trucks provide logistical support to Formula E, and they are also supplying the electric “innards” for cars destined to compete in the autonomous racing series Roborace. Needless to say, they’re a big name in the electric vehicle business. Even if you haven’t heard of them.
The vans will go into service in December and Royal Mail will also install charging points at delivery offices across the UK in order to support a greener fleet. You might remember that I said these vehicles can only go 100 miles. Well, that’s not all that far. Especially if you factor in city driving, which tends to yield higher mileage consumption. But maybe that doesn’t work the same with electric vehicles. Either way, they are going to spend a lot of time on charging. So will this be a waste of time during their runs? Or does the average delivery vehicle go less than 100 miles per day?
This is only a trial though. But definitely a good start. The Royal Mail has a fleet of 49,000 vehicles. The UK is small enough, from a geographical perspective, so I could see this working. But could it work in rural America, or Canada? Again, it could work in urban centres for sure. But 100 miles is a drop in the bucket when it comes to northern Canadian communities. And maybe that’s ok. Maybe it would help from an environmental perspective if we moved to electric vehicles?
Many people say that the postal system is dying because of the internet, and the ability to send money or letters via email. But I don’t think that’s necessarily true. I think that the old way of delivering mail is dying. But we still need to get things delivered to our house. Like parcels. Lots of people do online shopping, so I think that the argument that the post office is dying is atrocious. I do think that they need to reinvent themselves, or at least think about how to be a service in 2017. But I don’t think they’re dying.
Which means, I think that moving to electric vehicles is wonderful, but only for certain markets. I think it shows foresight. They can see that the world and the market is changing, so they are adapting in order to provide a better service. And to reduce the impact they are having on the environment. Win, win.