The UK’s mail service is commencing trials of a fully electric van with a range of 100 miles.

Royal Mail is putting nine Arrival vans to the test across a range of sizes and will distribute post from its central London depot.

Royal Mail is beginning trials in London of nine fully electric vans with ranges of up to 100 miles.

Arrival, formerly known as Charge Auto, is making 3.5, 6 and 7.5 tonne trucks out of its new factory in Banbury and has positioned the vans to be priced the same as their equivalent diesel cousins.

Although the prototypes are running with mirrors, the final design is rumoured to lose them with rear vision coming via cameras.

The maker claims a ‘revolutionary ultra-lightweight composite materials’ that significantly reduce the weight of the vehicle and by combining this technology with Arrival’s custom built hardware, including power electronics and motors, the cost of operating has been reduced by more than 50 per cent.

“Royal Mail is delighted to be collaborating with Arrival and pioneering the adoption of large electric commercial vehicles. We will be putting them through their paces over the next several months to see how they cope with the mail collection demands from our larger sites,” a spokesperson said.

“We have trialled electric trucks before but not of this type of innovative design and look forward to see what additional benefits they can bring to our existing fleet of around 49,000 vehicles.”

A further 100 electric vehicles are also on order from Peugeot.