Royal Mail contract win for Smith

Electric vehicles could become mainstream as postal giant begins trials with vans

Zero emission vehicles will be trialled by the Royal Mail following a contract win for Smith Electric Vehicles.

The Royal Mail has ordered one of each of the Edison (pictured) and Newton higher function delivery vehicles. The vehicles will be deployed in London, in parcel and post distribution operations.

Royal Mail has a fleet of over 33,000 commercial delivery vehicles operating across the UK, including approximately 10,700 3.5t vans and van derivatives, plus 2,500 7.5t trucks.

Darren Kell, chief executive of The Tanfield Group, which owns Smith Electric Vehicles, said: “We are delighted to have sold our first vehicles into the Royal Mail. The adoption of the Low Emission Zone in London and expected road pricing in 10 other urban conurbations across the UK will significantly increase the addressable market for electric vehicles. “To this end, we are now installing additional production capability at a much faster rate than we had previously planned.”

Edison is a sub-3.5t electric van, built using the Ford Transit shell. Newton is sold in 7.5t and 9t configurations. Both vehicles have restricted top speeds of up to 50mph and are capable of covering 150 miles on one battery charge.

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