Royal Mail charges up its fleet with ten-fold increase in electric vehicles

Around 3,000 additional electric vehicles are set to join Royal Mail’s UK fleet. The Company already has the lowest reported CO2e emissions per parcel amongst major UK delivery companies

  • Today, Royal Mail announces plans for a ten-fold increase in the number of electric vehicles it uses across its UK fleet.
  • The Company is rolling out around 3,000 additional electric vehicles targeting delivery offices in areas focused on ultra-low emission zones and green cities.
  • With the UK’s largest “Feet on the Street” network of over 85,000 postmen and women, Royal Mail already has the lowest reported CO2e emissions per parcel amongst major UK delivery companies.[1]
  • The investment forms part of the Company’s ambitious plans to reduce the emissions associated with its operations still further.
  • For Royal Mail, electric vehicles are not only the right move for our environment, our people and our communities, but they also increasingly make more economic sense than diesel vehicles in the long-term.
  • In May, Royal Mail also announced the launch of its first ever Delivery Office to feature an all-electric fleet of collection and delivery vehicles.
  • The move comes as the Company builds on its ambitions to become a net zero carbon emission business, with a 100% alternative fuel fleet.

Today, Royal Mail announces a ten-fold increase in the number of electric vehicles it runs across its UK fleet with plans to introduce around 3,000 additional, low-emission vans throughout the UK. 

The vehicles, liveried in traditional Royal Mail red, are a new chapter in the Company’s ongoing drive to reduce its operational emissions still further. The Company will additionally introduce charging points to all the Delivery Offices set to receive the vehicles as part of the plans. The roll out of the vans will initially focus on ultra-low emission zones and green cities.

The vehicles are specially designed to help postmen and women deliver letters and parcels in a secure and environmentally-friendly way. With load capacities ranging from around 3.7m3 to 6.3m3, the vehicles will operate as part of the Company’s usual delivery routes.

The addition of this latest tranche of electric vehicles brings the total amount of electric vehicles operating within Royal Mail’s fleet to around 3,300.

For Royal Mail, electric vehicles are not only the right move for our environment, our people and our communities, but they also increasingly make more economic sense for the Company than diesel vehicles in the long-term.

Simon Thompson, CEO of Royal Mail said: “Due to our feet on the street delivery model, we are the clear leader in low emissions per parcel in the UK. Electrification of our vehicle fleet will strengthen our advantage. That’s good for our customers, our people & the planet. We look forward to working with vehicle manufacturers and government to increase supply so we can accelerate our transition to electric vehicles in the UK. It matters to our customers, and it matters to us.”

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “I am sure customers will be delighted to know that that while their local postie’s van may be red on the outside, it’s greener than ever at heart. The UK is leading the world in tackling climate change, and action like this from UK businesses will be crucial as we look to build back greener from the pandemic.”

Ambitious Plans

In May, the Company announced the launch of 29 low emission gas powered trucks, fuelled by Bio-Compressed Natural Gas (Bio-CNG). The 40 tonne Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) are similar in size and look to a conventional Royal Mail truck but are significantly quieter. They also emit roughly 84 per cent less CO2e than a typical diesel-fuelled vehicle of this size.

Also in May, Royal Mail announced the launch of its first ever Delivery Office to feature an all-electric fleet of collection and delivery vehicles. The Bristol East Central Delivery Office, located in the City’s Easton area, has had its 23 diesel delivery and collection vans replaced by fully electric equivalents – comprising the Office’s entire collection and delivery fleet. Six electric charging posts and 12 charging points have also been installed on the site as part of the transformation. 

Bristol was selected due to the City’s plans for a Clean Air Zone (CAZ), which will require certain vehicles to pay a daily charge to enter its centre. At present, other Delivery Offices across the UK are being considered for similar fleet makeovers in coming months – particularly those in places with existing CAZs, or that have plans to introduce them.

A Responsible Company

With the UK’s largest “Feet on the Street” network of over 85,000 postmen and women, Royal Mail already has the lowest reported CO2e emissions per parcel amongst major UK delivery companies. The expansion of alternative fuel vehicles demonstrates the Company’s commitment to reducing emissions associated with its operations, and to delivering a cleaner future.


[1] Figures taken from various CR reports, 2019-20.

Classified: RMG – Internal