UK parcel and post delivery firm Royal Mail has begun trialling nine electric vehicles from all-electric truck and bus manufacturer Arrival (formerly Charge Auto), which recently opened a 110,000 sq.ft (10,000 sq.m) factory in the country in Banbury, Oxfordshire.
The 3.5, 6.0 and 7.5-tonne trucks, based at Royal Mail’s Mount Pleasant depot, will be used to transport packages between mail and distribution centres in the London area.
In June, logistics real estate company Logicor announced that it had leased the Banbury Cross facility to Arrival to be used as the UK’s first electric truck assembly plant. Over time, Arrival plans to produce over 50,000 vehicles a year there.
The autonomous-ready trucks have been optimised for inner city deliveries with a battery that has the maximum range-to-weight ratio and will allow the vehicles to travel up to 100 miles.
Paul Gatti, Royal Mail Fleet’s managing director, said: “We have trialled electric trucks before but not of this type of innovative design and look forward to seeing what additional benefits they can bring to our existing fleet of around 49,000 vehicles.”
Earlier this month, US-based transport and supply chain management provider Ryder System said it had been chosen as the exclusive sales channel partner and service provider for Chanje, a California-based medium-duty electric vehicle company.
Chanje will introduce its first vehicle – the V8070 large panel van – in the last quarter of this year and will be the first company in North America with the ability to deliver large-scale fleets of electric commercial vehicles immediately, according to Ryder.