Royal Mail has unveiled its new electric delivery vans with ranges of up to 100 miles which were built by a car maker's new Banbury factory
The nine fully-electric lorries, created by Arrival, are the first trial vehicles to be produced at its 110,000sqft factory off Southam Road.
Denis Sverdlov, chief executive of Arrival, formerly known as Charge Automotive, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Royal Mail using our electric vehicles.
"Cities like London will benefit hugely from a switch to electric, in terms of both pollution and noise.
"Most importantly we are priced the same as diesel trucks removing the main barrier to go electric."
Arrival says its electric vehicles beat conventional vans on price, design and capability and will help to reduce the pollution and noise in central London producing zero emissions for the first 100 miles they travel.
The trucks are built using revolutionary ultra-lightweight composite materials that significantly reduce the weight of the vehicle.
By combining this technology with Arrival’s custom built hardware, including power electronics and motors, the cost of operating has been reduced by more than half.
The vans will be used to transport mail between distribution centres in London and the south east and come in a variety of sizes.
Royal Mail will begin the trials, based at Mount Pleasant Mail Centre in London, with three six-tonne trucks later this month, followed by three 3.5-tonne vehicles and another three 7.5-tonne trucks later in 2017.
Royal Mail Fleet’s managing director Paul Gatti said: “Royal Mail is delighted to be collaborating with Arrival and pioneering the adoption of large electric commercial vehicles.
“We are pleased to be the first fleet operator to take delivery of and trial these new larger payload vehicles which will complement the 100 electric vans we recently ordered.
"We will be putting them through their paces over the next several months to see how they cope with the mail collection demands from our larger sites.
“Royal Mail is trialling a variety of vehicles to see which work best for us and are keen to share our experience with other fleet operators who may be considering introducing electric vehicles.
"We have trialled electric trucks before but not of this type of design and look forward to see what additional benefits they can bring to our existing fleet of around 49,000 vehicles.”