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An Post hope electric vans will deliver greener future

AN Post are looking to reduce their carbon footprint by introducing electric vehicles.

The public body will introduce five electric vehicles into its fleet this year to explore possible cost savings. If the move proves successful it could result in the organisation using a more extensive electric fleet.

An Post currently has a diesel-powered commercial fleet of approximately 3,000 vehicles, which includes 175 HGV's, 550 medium vans and 2,275 small vans.

There is currently one electric vehicle being used in Inis Mor on the Aran Islands, but the five new vehicles will enable a more accurate feasibility study.

"This is purely a tender looking for suppliers of five vehicles of the small to medium van range, and it's a pilot to examine the feasibility of electric vehicles," a spokesperson told the Herald.

"We have a commitment to reduce our carbon footprint by 20pc by 2020, and it may well be that the electric vehicles will form part of the strategy to do that," he explained.

An Post says it wishes to explore the option of reducing its dependence on oil-derived fuels and move away from petrol and diesel vehicles to cleaner and more sustainable fuel types.

"We have had an electric mail van in Inis Mor for the last few years. It's working fine, but this next fleet will be very much on a pilot basis, it's a testing ground. There's no question of replacing the entire fleet."

He added: "Some of the [new vehicles] will go to a Dublin location and others will go to a rural location. We'll have to look at how they perform, how they fit our business, and the challenges in rural or urban areas."