Royal Mail trials hydrogen-powered van for deliveries

Returns of online purchases are expected to increase by 63% compared to the average number of return parcels per day in December, according to Royal Mail.

The hydrogen-powered van trial forms part of Royal Mail’s ongoing commitment to reduce emissions associated with its operations.

The van is a dual fuel vehicle, with up to 60% of its power generated by Green Hydrogen. As part of the trial, the remainder of its power comes from diesel fuel. This is a preliminary trial to determine if hydrogen is operationally suitable within Royal Mail’s fleet. If workable, the results will be considered in future strategy developments for the company.

The van will accommodate letters, cards and parcels of all sizes, and is designed for use on roads and highways. Deliveries during the trial will operate as normal, on suitable routes. The 3.5-tonne vehicle is durable and can travel up to 120 miles in dual fuel mode. Refuelled close to the delivery office, it is designed to help postmen and women deliver letters and parcels securely, whilst reducing associated emissions. The van will be trialled on delivery rounds in Altens, Aberdeen, for a 12-month period. It has been provided to the company by Aberdeen City Council, as part of the EU-funded Civitas Portis project. This project marks a significant drive from the city to improve air quality and to explore more sustainable transport options.

Hydrogen-powered vehicles were originally tested by Royal Mail in 2010. As technology has significantly evolved in this space over the past decade, the company is keen to understand how hydrogen can operate within its fleet; particularly for larger vehicles and longer routes, where electricity may not be a viable alternative fuel.

This initiative forms part of Royal Mail’s programme of alternative fuel vehicle trials. They are an example of the company’s ongoing commitment to reduce emissions associated with its operations.

James Baker, Chief Engineer and Fleet Director at Royal Mail said, “As a company, we are committed to making changes to our operations that reduce our environmental impact. Hydrogen is viewed by many as a vital source of future sustainable energy; so, as such, is a perfect addition to our program of initiatives that enable us to assess ways of achieving this, while allowing us to continue to deliver letters and parcels safely, efficiently and responsibly.”

Source: Royal Mail

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