Australia Post has put in an order for another 1,000 Swiss-designed electric delivery vehicles, in a move it says will make it the biggest electric vehicle fleet operator in the nation.

The new batch of eDVs are expected to be deployed around the country from June, following up on successful trials of the three-wheel motorcycles in 2017, and an initial rollout of 100 eDVs that started doing mail runs in June 2018.

In a statement published last week, Australia Post said that it would also roll out an additional 4,000 electric pushbikes, bringing its total to 5,980 over the next three years.

As we reported last year, the battery powered eDVs are designed and manufactured in Switzerland by a company called Kyburz, and are being used by postal services in various European countries, including Germany.

Kyburz says that the vehicle’s narrow dimensions and three-wheeled basis make it “astoundingly manouverable,” and “perfect for a large delivery postal fleet.”

The eDVs can travel at speeds of up to 45km/h, and with a range of up to nine hours per full charge. They are also much quieter than petrol fuelled motorbikes and able to carry more – a total of 195kg, or up to 100 small parcels and 1200 letters at a time.

“We are proud to soon be operating Australia’s largest fleet of electric vehicles, and hope this will set the standard across Australia,” said Australia Post Group COO Bob Black in the statement.

“With parcel volumes growing – on average, close to 10 per cent each year for the last three years – and letter volumes declining, we’re always looking for ways to ensure our posties continue to play an important and sustainable role in the community.

“These vehicles offer additional carrying capacity, so our posties can deliver more parcels than ever before directly to the customer’s door – and can perform additional functions, such as collecting mail from street posting boxes.”

Black said the eDVs were also safer than the traditional two-wheeled motorcycle, with increased rider protection and lower on-road speeds.

“We started trialling eDVs in 2017 and we’ve since deployed them in all states. We have worked closely with our posties to make improvements along the way.

“Our posties love the eDVs because they demonstrate our commitment to providing safer and more sustainable employment into the future, given consumers are sending fewer letters and relying more and more on their postie to deliver their parcels.

“They will also help us achieve our commitment of reducing our carbon emissions by 25 per cent by 2020.”

On top of its efforts to cut vehicle emissions, Australia Post has installed solar PV at 49 sites across Australia, including a 284kW system at its NSW headquarters, StarTrack House, in Strawberry Hills, and a massive 2.1MW array on its Sydney parcel facility in Chullora.

Annually, the company says these installs will cut its grid electricity consumption by 5315 MWH a year, saving 4635 tonnes of carbon and over $1m in cost savings and avoidance, every year.

Australia Post is also one of 14 consortium members behind the ground-breaking Melbourne Renewable Energy Project, who are contracted to buy buy a total of 88GWh, or one-third of the assumed output of the Crowlands wind farm, in Ararat.

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