Starting in December, the Royal Mail will begin delivering post in electric vehicles. The new fully electric vans will distribute post from the central London depot to the surrounding area.

Produced by Oxfordshire-based carmaker Arrival, the vans come in three and a half, six and seven tonne versions. They have a range of 160 kilometres. A dual power mode within the vehicles can be used to top-up the battery after the first 100 miles.

By 2020, the final versions of the vehicles should also be capable of autonomous driving.

“We have trialled electric trucks before but not of this type of innovative design” said Paul Gatti, Royal Mail Fleet’s managing director. The large windscreen gives the driver a better view of traffic, which should lead to fewer accidents. The vehicles will also be outfitted with cameras to monitor traffic in the rear.

With the electric new vans the Royal Mail joins other European postal services, such as the Deutsche Post, who already have several thousand electric delivery vans on the roads. However, the Deutsche Post’s “Streestcooters” have a more limited range of 80 kilometres.

Photo credit: Arrival