We all know the legendary turning circle of a London cab, so what could be better for delivering parcels and letters than in a taxi with the seats stripped out and turned into a Royal Mail parcel taxi van?
Don’t worry… they’re not buying knackered old London cabs, Royal Mail are trialling a converted TX-based prototype of the brand new London Electric Vehicle Company VN5 electric van for parcel and letter deliveries in selected urban locations. The VN5 is so new it’s not even officially launched yet! The trial is an example of the Royal Mail’s efforts to continue to reduce emissions associated with its operations.
The 2.9 tonne Royal Mail parcel taxi van is a durable vehicle and, just as you would expect of a London Cab, is designed to operate at lengthy distances on a stop and start basis. It makes sense when you think a taxi’s days work is comparable to a typical postal round. Fully chargeable at the local delivery office, the van is designed to help postmen and women deliver letters and parcels securely, whilst reducing associated emissions.
A Royal Mail parcel taxi van will be trialled on delivery rounds in largely urban areas over the next six months, including locations in Derby, Leeds, Edinburgh and Bristol. The trial begins this week in Hockley, near Birmingham.
“Royal Mail is one of the oldest postal services in the world and, like our London black cab, is part of British history and culture. It is great that these two iconic brands are joining forces for this trial. The VN5 prototypes will wear the iconic Royal Mail red livery and be used on routes that will test the vehicles ability to the full. These trials are crucial to the final development of the van, ahead of its launch later this year.”
– Joerg Hofmann, CEO, London Electric Vehicle Company
The TX conversion is able to accommodate letters, cards and parcels of all sizes, and is designed for use on roads and highways. Deliveries during the trial will operate as part of a usual delivery pattern on suitable routes.
If introduced more widely, the cabs will complement the Royal Mail’s pre-existing fleet of 295 electric vans. The cab’s range extender would enable emission-free deliveries to more remote locations, and on longer routes than a typical electric van.
“As a Company, we are committed to making changes to our operations that reduce our environmental impact, whilst ensuring we continue to meet customer expectations. Alongside the introduction of electric vans in locations across our business, this trial is part of a programme of initiatives that allow us to experiment with ways to achieve this, whilst enabling us to continue to deliver letters and parcels safely, efficiently and responsibly.”
– Paul Gatti, Fleet Director at Royal Mail