The Royal Mail, Britain's post office has ordered a pair of electric vans from Smith Electric Vehicles for testing purposes. They will be receiving one Edison, which is based on the Ford Transit van, and a 7.5 tonne Newton, which is a larger cab-over truck. Both trucks use the Zebra sodium nickel chloride batteries and have a rated range of 150 and 130 miles respectively. The Royal Mail currently has over 33,000 commercial delivery vehicles including 10,700 3.5 tonne vans like the Edison and 2,500 of the larger trucks.

If the trials work out and most of the current fleet are replaced by electric vehicles, it could have a significant environmental impact. Many of the trucks used for inter-city deliveries won't be able to be supplanted by pure EVs but some type of range extender setup with an on-board generator could definitely work.

[Source: Smith Electric Vehicles]

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