Dev Bank-leaderboard-advert-1430px-x-145px_Tourism


4 June 2024

First Electric Mobile Post Office Takes to the Roads in Wales

The first full-electric Post Office branded vehicle has been successfully trialled in Wales.

Pembroke postmaster Mark Wilson and his team operate a Mobile Post Office serving 11 communities in rural Pembrokeshire. He has swapped his previous diesel vehicle for an electric one.

The distinctively decorated vehicle has been put through its paces to check that the battery-powered branch can cope with the hilly terrain. The trial has shown that the more environmentally friendly vehicle is viable. A larger electric vehicle has less range than an electric car because of the weight of the vehicle, but the Mobile Post Office can comfortably do more than 100 miles before it needs recharging.

The longest mileage day for the Pembroke Mobile Post Office is 60 miles, which gives lots of spare capacity and no risk of “range anxiety”. The vehicle is charged overnight, which removes the need for charging the vehicle whilst out and about or the need to make a detour to find a compatible charger.

Mark said:

“Our electric Mobile Post Office is turning heads with its distinctive signage. People are used to the typical Post Office red vehicles, but the design on the vehicle is highlighting that this vehicle is better for the environment. It’s exciting to have the first of these in the UK. Customers have been praising our new vehicle as it is less polluting and looks good.

“It’s the same height as the previous vehicle, but slightly wider, but still fine for country lanes. There’s a better layout inside, which provides more space to offer more retail to the communities that we visit and more storage space for parcels, as these days there are lots of home shopping returns and people selling items on eBay and other re-sale sites.

‘Colleagues working on the Mobile are pleased with its road handling and how smooth it is to drive with automatic transmission.”

A Mobile Post Office service is a tried and tested way of maintaining Post Office services to smaller communities, especially in rural areas. It can sell the same range of Post Office services as those provided by a postmaster’s main branch, including mail, foreign currencies if pre-ordered, banking on behalf of all the major high street banks, bill payments and vehicle tax.

Nigel Parry, Post Office National Outreach Model owner, which includes Mobile Post Offices, said:

“We know the green credentials of these vehicles – they are better for the environment as there are no emissions which pollute communities. These vehicles are cheaper to run and to maintain.

“Crucially we are testing these vehicles whilst serving communities to ensure that they are fit for purpose. We want to see how they perform in real life conditions. We don’t want our postmasters to have range anxiety, especially as they may be visiting several rural communities in one, where there is no charging capacity or time during their busy schedules to get a re-charge until the evening.

“Hilly terrain, cold weather, traffic jams and the age and condition of the battery would all affect the range of a vehicle, so we need to ensure there is spare capacity to serve outlying communities at any time of the year.”

Another big benefit is the fact that electric vehicles are quicker to maintain than the current twice-yearly service of diesel vehicles which may require a vehicle being off the road all day.

Next month another electric Mobile Post Office will be introduced in East Anglia, followed by a third vehicle at a location still to be determined, to fully test the suitability of these vehicles for rural locations and the cost compared to traditional vehicles.

There are currently 67 diesel Mobile Post Offices in use across Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Related Articles

8 May 2023

A Solution for Local Authorities to Develop Sustainable Tourism Transport Links
22 August 2023

Exploring Wales by Rail: Autumn Adventures with Transport for Wales and Visit Wales
5 September 2023

HS2: Reviving Old Steel for a Sustainable Future in Rail Transport
7 September 2023

Promoting Sustainable Transportation: Denbighshire’s Green Taxi Scheme
13 September 2023

UK Government Charts Course to Zero Emission Vehicles by 2035