NZ Post has started to introduce their new electric vehicles, with New Plymouth deliverers getting the first spin on the new wheels. Around 20 vehicles, which are worth up to $20,000 each, are part of a Taranaki based study in which NZ post are assessing how effective they can be in delivering both letters and parcels combined.
NZ Posts chief customer service officer Ashley Smout has said that electric vehicle concept is the companies solution to combating the growth of online shopping. It is hoped that these vehicles will allow NZ post to effectively deliver parcels more efficiently in residential neighbourhoods. This will enable them to compete more fiercely on the parcel delivery business market throughout the country.
The vehicles can carry up to 300kgs and will drive on the footpath, where they have a speed restriction of 10km/h. Drivers will also be trained to look out for pedestrians in order to ensure the vehicles are operated in a safe manner.
As part of the New Plymouth trials, NZ post is testing the three-wheeled Kyburz and the four-wheeled Paxster, which both have a top speed of around 45km/h. However with the introduction of these vehicles, it is expected that around 2000 jobs will go over five years, including 400 posties. This change is alongside other restricting activities to reduce costs in the postal service. This includes the change NZ Post is adopting to conventional mail delivery, which will be delivered every second day from July.