Going postal in an electric vehicle

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Words: Robert Barry
7 Dec 2018

More and more postal service operations across Europe are embracing fleets of electric vans which are criss-crossing city centres for last kilometre delivery of letters and parcels.

Seven European postal services are using electric commercial vehicles supplied by Renault, such as Switzerland, Portugal, Norway, Spain, Slovenia, The Netherlands, and of course France.

Renault says the mail fleets often have several tens of thousands of vehicles, so the reasons for switching to electric drive aren’t lacking.

Beyond the economic advantages the postal services see the change to electric vehicles as a responses to reducing emissions but also a way to continue to access urban areas with traffic restrictions. Advanced fleet management capabilities and increased driver comfort don’t hurt either!

Correios, the Spanish postal service, has been very interested in electric for its two- and four-wheeled vehicles. Since 2016, the company has had about 300 electric motorcycles and 25 Kangoo Z.E.s tasked with ensuring deliveries to the centres of Madrid, Barcelona, Seville and Valencia.

The experience has proved to be satisfactory, as 42 new Kangoo Z.E.s have just been outfitted in the Correios colours.

This year PostNL the Netherlands postal operator inaugurated a new part of its fleet of electric vehicles this year by putting several units of the latest Renault Master Z.E. into circulation.

While the PostNL Kangoo Z.E. vans deliver letters and small parcels, the Master Z.E will ensure the collection and delivery of larger parcels. The first detachment is destined for the districts of Utrecht and Leeuwarden, but PostNL promises that other cities will also soon be equipped.

Since the end of 2017, Slovenia’s postal service Pošta Slovenije has been undertaking a transformative process that seeks to simultaneously develop both the company image and technical innovations at the logistical level: it’s a dual objective perfectly suited to the adoption of electric vehicles.

The Slovenian post has used this occasion to extend its fleet of Kangoo Z.E.s, taking advantage of the new vehicles’ extended range to make deliveries 100% electrically outside of urban areas.

In Norway where electric cars are already considered the norm, the postal service operator, Posten, has purchased hundred of electric vehicles since 2015 and it certainly has no intention to stop now.

The French postal service operator can now count more than 7000 Z.E.s among its ranks, making it one of the world’s leading electric fleets across all business sectors.

La Poste is now equipping every major city with charging stations, and is studying how to adapt its operations to capitalise on the strengths of its electric vehicles.

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NZ Autocar

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