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Tesla, Hertz, Uber and Royal Mail: Major EV schemes launched ahead of COP26

Several major electric vehicle (EV) announcements have been made on the eve of COP26, with Royal Mail opening and all-electric delivery office in Glasgow and thousands of EVs being ordered for major car rental and ride-hailing schemes.

Image: Royal Mail

Image: Royal Mail

Royal Mail opened its all-electric Glasgow delivery office on Friday (29 October). The location, the G51 office in Govan, is across the river from the host venue for COP26, the Scottish Events Campus (SEC).

A total of 13 electric vans and other delivery vehicles will be hosted at the office, all replacing old diesel vans. The fully electric vans have up to 38% larger load space than the vehicles they have replaced and they have a range of up to 90 miles on a single charge, depending on load size and weather conditions.

There are also two new micro EVs, intended to be used for last-mile parcel deliveries. They are about the side of a golf buggy or a quad bike but can carry more than an average daily round’s worth of letters and small parcels.

Royal Mail has worked with BP Pulse to install eight EV charging points at the office to support the fleet. These will be served with 100% renewable electricity.

“With the eyes of the world turning to Glasgow ahead of COP26, it’s vital that we lead by example when it comes to tackling the climate emergency,” said Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

“That is why it is such welcome news that Royal Mail is launching its first all-electric delivery office in Scotland just across the Clyde from where the summit will take place. Converting this delivery office entirely to electric vehicles is a really positive step towards our shared goal of net-zero and I want to thank Royal Mail for their efforts in making this happen.”

As well as being the host city for COP26, Glasgow is one of several UK cities with plans to introduce a Low-Emission Zone, which will charge vehicles that do not meet strict emissions standards. Royal Mail has stated that areas with Low-Emission Zones and/or Clean Air Zones will likely see delivery vehicles switched to electric first, as it works to grow its EV delivery fleet from 300 to 3,300.

Tesla, Hertz and Uber’s major tie-up

The news from Royal Mail comes shortly after car rental giant Hertz announced that it will place orders for 100,000 Teslas to add to its North American fleet by the end of 2022. The investment should create the continent’s largest EV rental fleet.

Hertz will also work with Tesla to scale up charging infrastructure to support the new vehicles, and will give customers access to the automaker’s network of 3,000 supercharging stations across the US and Europe.

The first of the vehicles will be added to Hertz’ fleet from early November, and, once the 100,000 have been delivered, this will bring the proportion of EVs in Hertz’ fleet to 20%.  The company introduced the first handful of rental EVs to its portfolio in 2011.

Customers can expect to pay the same for an EV rental as they would for rental of a luxury or premium car with an internal combustion engine from Hertz

The agreement between Tesla and Hertz also includes Uber. Uber will offer drivers in the US a subsidy if they wish to rent a Tesla from Hertz to complete their rides.

In related news, here in Europe, electric car subscription service Onto has placed an order for 10,50 Renault Zoe E Tech. Most of these vehicles will be on the road by the end of 2021, with the remainder due in January 2022.

As of September, Onto had some 4,000 EVs. So the order represents a 25% increase in its EV stock.

The Renault Zoe E Tech has a range of up to 245 miles and can be charged to 90 miles of range in as little as 30 minutes when fast-charging infrastructure is used.

Sarah George

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