Australia Post, the owner of the largest vehicle fleet in the country, has begun the rollout of a fleet of electric motorbikes and delivery vehicles (eDVs) in a bid to improve safety for their employees at the same time as reducing environmental impacts.
The postal delivery company has been testing the electric vehicles over the last five years, with which it will gradually replace the outdated petrol-powered motorcycles used by your local ‘postie’.
As part of its Environmental Action Plan for 2018-2020, which was released earlier this year, the rollout of the fleet will help the postal service meet key environmental targets that are based around a 25 per cent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 (based on 2000 levels).
Australia Post began the rollout in June of this year, when it emailed Renew Economy with details about the 100 eDVs to start doing mail runs by the end of that month.
The eDVs, which can carry around three times as many parcels as a postie’s motorcycle, required special applications to ensure they met regulatory requirements before being considered roadworthy.
Built by Swiss company Kyburz and able to handle inclines of up to 30%, the eDVs boast a load capacity of 120kg, a range of up to 115km and a 3.5kW motor.
There are also now 2,000 electric motorbikes in the Australia Post EV fleet, which they intend to increase to 4,000 over the next 3 years.
“The electric bikes are also easier to manoeuvre than a traditional motorbike, making hard to reach letterboxes easier to access,” said a spokesperson in a note to The Driven.
“Finally, electric vehicles are much quieter, causing less neighbourhood disruption and making it easier for our posties to hear other vehicles while out on the road.”
For the future, the postal delivery company is also investigating the use of electric vans, but it notes, “it is important to note that when selecting vehicles it’s all about pairing the right vehicle with the right location – we always consider the landscape and demand in a given area.”
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.