Having just returned from the Geneva Motor Show where the all electric Renault Zoe was causing quite a stir I was surprised to read that closer to home 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 Z.E. (electric) mini van against its traditional diesel counterpart over designated city postal routes in Dublin, Cork and Galway over the next 12 months.
As you'd expect An Post operates one of Ireland’s largest fleets with over 2,700 vehicles ranging from smaller vans to large articulated vehicles. If you thought your fuel bill was high consider that An Post 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 €10 million. I'm sure any savings an all electric vehicle might generate will be welcome here.
Turns out that cost efficiency and environmental sustainability are the driving forces behind the trial:
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.
– Donal Connell, Chief Executive - An Post
Eric Basset, Managing Director of Renault Ireland reconfirmed its commitment to the success of the electric vehicle in Ireland:
Ireland is an ideal test bed in terms of the size of the country, as the average daily commute is less than 40km, the incentives are in place and the vehicles are now here and ready to drive”.
– Eric Basset, Managing Director - Renault Ireland
The Renault Kangoo Z.E. 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.