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Royal Mail orders zero emission vans

Smith Electric Vehicles has won its first contract from the Royal Mail for its next generation zero emission vehicles.

The Royal Mail has ordered one of each of the Edison and Newton higher function delivery vehicles, for trials. The vehicles will be deployed in London, in parcel and post distribution operations.

Edison is a sub-3.5t electric van, built using the Ford Transit shell. Newton is sold in 7.5t and 9t configurations. Both vehicles have restricted top speeds of up to 50mph and are capable of covering 150 miles on one battery charge.

Royal Mail has a fleet of over 33,000 commercial delivery vehicles operating across the UK, including approximately 10,700 3.5t vans and van derivatives, plus 2,500 7.5t trucks.

In line with a growing order book and increased interest in both Newton and Edison, Tanfield is installing extra electric vehicle production capacity at Vigo Centre, its 250,000 sq ft assembly facility in Tyne & Wear, UK.

Darren Kell, Chief Executive of The Tanfield Group Plc, said: “We are delighted to have sold our first vehicles into the Royal Mail. The adoption of the Low Emission Zone in London and expected road pricing in 10 other urban conurbations across the UK will significantly increase the addressable market for electric vehicles. To this end, we are now installing additional production capability at a much faster rate than we had previously planned.”

Smith Electric Vehicles was founded in 1920 and was acquired by Tanfield in October 2004. Smith is a world leader in new technology electric vans and trucks with greatly enhanced performance, speed and range capabilities. This makes them attractive for all fleet operators in large towns, cities and closed industrial environment. For the first time, these fleet operators have an economically viable, zero emission alternatives to using diesel vans and trucks. Smith has a UK-wide service and support network, which already maintains over 5,000 vehicles for major fleet operators.