Royal Mail has ordered 100 fully electric delivery vans from Peugeot with ranges of up to 100 miles, the company confirmed on Wednesday (23 August) at the first rollout of its electric vehicles.

The pilot delivery van scheme has begun in London with nine fully electric vans, of different sizes, being brought into service, to distribute post from the company's central London depot.

The first batch of vehicles was produced by Oxfordshire-based carmaker Arrival, but the next batch of 100 vans has been commissioned from the French automaker.

The latter will enter service for Christmas deliveries in December, the company confirmed, with the van sizes ranging from 3.5 to 7.5 tonnes.

Paul Gatti, managing director of Royal Mail's fleet said: "We will be putting the Arrival vehicles through their paces over the next several months to see how they cope with the mail collection demands from our larger sites."

The company's delivery fleet comprises about 49,000 vehicles in total, and Gatti said the ambition was to bring about a phased planned adoption of electric vehicles.

"Emissions are an important issue for us at Royal Mail and we are continuously looking at new and innovative ways to reduce our carbon footprint and our impact on air quality. Improving the efficiency of our fleet by introducing electric vans is just one example of this," he added.

Martin Gurney, fleet director at Peugeot, said: "The order was won after Royal Mail carried out trials with our Partner Electric range. It's a tribute to their performance in the trials that Peugeot Electric vans will soon be helping Royal Mail to significantly reduce the environmental impact of its delivery fleet."