Royal Mail is to trial nine electric-powered commercial vehicles in partnership with Arrival.
The trials, based at Mount Pleasant Mail Centre in London, will begin with three six-tonne trucks from August, followed by three 3.5-tonne vehicles and another three 7.5-tonne trucks later in 2017. The centre has already been fitted with charging stations.
The vehicles will be used to transport mail between mail distribution centres in London and the south east.
The co-branded red Royal Mail electric vehicles are the first trial vehicles to be produced at Arrival’s new factory in Banbury.
Paul Gatti, managing director of Royal Mail Fleet, said: “Royal Mail is delighted to be collaborating with Arrival and pioneering the adoption of large electric commercial vehicles.
“We are pleased to be the first fleet operator to take delivery of and trial these new larger payload vehicles which will complement the 100 electric vans we recently ordered.
“We will be putting them through their paces over the next several months to see how they cope with the mail collection demands from our larger sites.
“Royal Mail is trialling a variety of vehicles to see which work best for us and are keen to share our experience with other fleet operators who may be considering introducing electric vehicles.
“We have trialled electric trucks before but not of this type of design and look forward to see what additional benefits they can bring to our existing fleet of around 49,000 vehicles.”