AusPost launches electric delivery vehicle trial

Postie of the future to focus on parcel delivery

Australia Post will begin trialling electric delivery vehicles on routes in Hobart from 20 March.

Five new three-wheeled e-vehicles will service Bellerive, Howrah, Montagu Bay, Mornington, Rosny Park, Tranmere and Warrane. The new e-vehicles have three times the parcel carrying capacity of the current postie motorbike and can hold up to 100 small parcels and 1,200 letters at a time. They have a top speed of 45km/h and a nine-hour battery life.

Australia Post’s Head of Network Optimisation, Mitch Buxton, said Hobart serves as a perfect starting point to get the pilot underway with locals increasingly embracing online shopping.

“We know that residents in Hobart love online shopping,” he said. “In fact the yearly growth rate in this area is above the national average, sitting at 13.8 per cent growth compared to 11.5 per cent.

“Health and beauty products, fashion and recreational goods are the most popular purchases among local Hobart residents.”

The city’s flat terrain was also reportedly a factor in its selection for the trial.

“Our parcels business generates over 70 per cent of our total revenue,” Buxton continued. “Ten years ago parcels contributed less than 25 per cent of our revenue.

“As our business transforms so too are the jobs that our workforce are doing. A few years ago we equipped our posties so they can deliver small parcels and this latest initiative will allow them to deliver even more – helping to ensure their roles remain meaningful well into the future.

“While letter volumes have nearly halved, this is another example of how Australia Post is looking at ways to keep our posties delivering for Australians.”

The pilot comes off the back of Australia Post announcing a $197 million before-tax half-year profit, driven largely by a 5.7 per cent volume growth in the parcels business and postal losses reduced to break even.

The e-vehicles are already successfully used in Germany and Switzerland, with international postal authorities seeing benefits including greater carrying capacity, improved rider safety and lower vehicle emissions.

AusPost’s Hobart trial will run for three months, and from April similar pilot projects will be launched in Victoria, NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.