The United Kingdom's Royal Postal Service has entered a new era as its first electric mail vans enter service.
In total, nine electric postal vans from local company Arrival will enter the Royal Post's fleet, along with another 100 electric vans to be added in December from French brand Peugeot.
The Arrival electric vans are capable of traveling 100 miles before charging is required, and the vans being tested come in various sizes and payload ratings.
Specifically, the nine trial vans come in four different configurations topping out at 7 tonnes, according to the BBC.
Arrival says the trial electric vans will come with wing mirrors, but its final production units will have cameras in place.
Other specifics were not revealed at this time.
The electric vans will be locally assembled at the company's new production facility in Banbury, England.
"We will be putting [the electric vans] through their paces over the next several months to see how they cope with the mail collection demands from our larger sites," Paul Gatti, Royal Mail Fleet's managing director, said.
The United Kingdom isn't the first country to begin the transition from internal-combustion engine powered to fully-electric postal vehicles.
Germany began adding all-electric postal vans to its fleet earlier this year.
Based on the Ford Transit Connect, the electric vans entered production in July of 2017 and Deutsche Post expects to have 2,500 all-electric medium-duty vans on German roads by 2018.
Additionally, the Deutsche Post also bought Street Scooter and began building thousands of small car-sized electric delivery vans.
Electric mail delivery van based on Ford Transit chassis, by Deutsche Post StreetScooter with Ford
In the coming years, analysts expect European postal fleets to continue implementing electric vans, especially as bans on internal-combustion powered cars are put into place in the coming decades.
By 2025, 100,000 electric postal vehicles may be on European roads.
Coincidentally, that's the same year Norway and the Netherlands plan to ban the sale of new vehicles powered by fossil fuels.
In the United States, AM General has been selected as one of six contractors to help build prototypes for the next-generation mail delivery truck.
However, details on their fuel economy targets and potential powertrains remain unknown.
Whether mail receipients will see zero-emission, all-electric vans delivering to the city streets and rural routes of the U.S. will be determined in the coming years.
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