Norway's postal service has ordered a bunch of zero-emissions vehicles, but they're not exactly zero emissions. Posten Norge has placed an order for almost 300 Renault Kangoo Maxi Z.E. electric utility vans, Inside EVs says. What's interesting is that the vans are equipped with diesel-powered heaters, for it does get cold up there, and the mail has to be delivered regardless of weather conditions. The fuel use to keep the drivers warm might add up to two liters a week in the cold. Not exactly the same as the emissions from a smoking tailpipe of an old Mercedes-Benz 300D, but still. Posted Norge says any additional acquisition costs associated with the van will be repaid via lower refueling costs.

Norway has long been ahead of the game when it comes to adopting zero-emissions vehicles. The country offered a raft of government-backed incentives for 50,000 electric and plug-in vehicles and that limit was initially estimated to be reached in 2017, but those darn Norwegians reached it about two years early.

In the spring of 2011, Norway's postal service become the first European entity to put in an order for the Ford Transit Connect Electric. About 20 of those were acquired, and they had a single-charge range of about 80 miles.

The idea to heat a battery-powered vehicle with old-fashioned combustion is not new. The stylish Volvo C30 used the same principle (with an ethanol-powered engine) back in 2010. The idea of electrifying a postal service has also been heard here and there through the years.

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