Dublin postwoman Caroline Doyle

Dublin postwoman Caroline Doyle unveiled her new Renault Kangoo ZE electric postvan at Dublin’s GPO today. She will start trialling the vehicle on a cross-city Dublin collection and delivery route from Monday

An Post and Renault Ireland are joining forces in Ireland’s first ever on-the-road trial of electrically powered post vans.

The detailed like-for-like study will compare the energy/fuel efficiency, maintenance costs and overall performance of the Renault Kangoo ZE (electric) mini van against its traditional diesel counterpart over designated city postal routes in Dublin, Cork and Galway over the next 12 months.

An Post operates one of Ireland’s largest fleets with over 2,700 vehicles ranging from smaller vans to large articulated vehicles.  The company uses more than 7.5 million litres of diesel annually and in 2011, the company’s fleet-related fuel costs were in the region of €10m.

An Post chief executive, Donal Connell, explained that cost efficiency and environmental sustainability are the driving forces behind the trial:

“We are unique in how much of the country we cover every working day, delivering to 2.1 million business and home addresses in all kinds of terrain, through all types of weather. An Post is constantly introducing more efficient and more effective ways of working but new methods have to balance environmental and economic sustainability.  We’re very pleased to be conducting this like-for-like trial with this calibre of vehicle and we’re looking forward to reviewing the data with Renault Ireland over the coming months,” he added.

The Renault Kangoo ZE postvans will be tested on a variety of An Post mails collection and delivery routes and each vehicle’s energy usage and overall running costs monitored alongside those of the diesel model, of which An Post has currently 940 in its fleet.