Royal Mail Fleet Vehicle Replacement Plan Update
Branches will recall LTB 509/19 advising the Joint Statement on Optimise Prime – Road to Zero Emissions. The whole issue of pollution and the impact on health, the environment and global warming have been increasingly coming into focus and continues to hold the international centre of attention.
As previously reported, Royal Mail Fleet have secured increased funding for new vehicles in their 5-year plan which is higher than normally provided. The clear intention of Fleet will be to address the rise in Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and increased costs of vehicle access across the UK. Royal Mail continues to be involved in what is considered the world’s biggest trial of commercial EVs that brings together leading companies in Hitachi technology giants, UK electricity distribution partners and key household operators Centrica, Uber and Royal Mail.
The purpose of the trial in 2019 was to understand what impact a mass migration of EVs will have on the grid infrastructure and its capacity, including software management utilising a smart charging interface and management tool. The consortium-led trial covers the following streams; Public Charging, Home Based Charging and Depot Based Charging. Royal Mail will participate in the Depot Based Charging. The key data that Royal Mail requires to be provided daily from the Electric vehicles is the battery state of charge and fluctuations in the current draw along with distance travelled for the route to build the smart charging depot optimisation tool. A number of various EVs are now deployed into the fleet which include Mercedes eVitos, Peugeot Experts & Partners, Renault Kangoo’s and Nissan. Royal Mail will obtain the daily battery life status and current draw profile to enable Hitachi to build the smart charging depot tool.
For this project, the data from these vehicles will be recorded and shared with drivers if required, for coaching purposes only. As such, the Joint Statement reaffirms driver performance data will continue to remain confidential to the individual and will not be displayed on notice boards or in league tables, nor will it form part of performance management. It is also reaffirmed that this technology is not being deployed for use as a disciplinary tool or a source of information to be used in conduct cases.
The key benefits to Royal Mail include fuel savings, reduction in vehicle maintenance costs, avoidance of Congestion Zone and Clean Air Zone Charge as well as road tax and first registration fees. Such benefits may lead to increased opportunities for final mile consolidation in Clean Air Zones to secure additional revenues from parcels. The garage network in Fleet will become the first UK network of scale to offer EV services which will include full exposure to the technical learning and the potential for further commercial opportunities.
Branches are reminded that as further EVs are deployed, they will be part of the yearly activity associated with the vehicle replacement plan alongside diesel and petrol vehicles. Whilst the ongoing EV replacement is considered as Business As Usual (BAU) there remains an absolute need for full CWU IR and ASR involvement to determine and agree safe installation of charging posts in all new sites including all relevant documentation, Risk Assessments and subsequent Safe System of Works. There is an additional 3,000 new EVs to be deployed into the Light Commercial Vehicle fleet (LCV) across 29 sites, of which 11 are considered as a priority. Branches within these localities will of course be invited to attend scoping sessions to address any such concern in advance of the new EV arrival which is scheduled to be completed by March 2022.
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CWU Assistant Secretary