ROYAL Mail has deployed six electric vans in its delivery office in Hythe in Hampshire.

The vans are being used by postmen and women on their delivery rounds.

Royal Mail joins a small group of UK businesses to use a sizeable amount of electric vehicles in its main operation, as it continues to look at new and innovative ways to reduce its carbon footprint.

The vans are being used in 18 delivery offices in the UK. They have been supported by a comprehensive rollout of charging infrastructure.

Paul Gatti, Royal Mail Fleet director, said: “Our research has shown that electric vans are a good operational fit with our business. We are delighted to be using them in our daily operations.

"This is good news for our customers and the towns and cities, which we serve. It also means we are on the front foot for future changes in emissions legislation.

“Emissions are an important issue for us at Royal Mail.

"We are continuously looking at new and innovative ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Improving the efficiency of our fleet by introducing electric vans is just one example.”

The electric vans will be direct replacements for vehicles that have reached the end of their operational life.

Royal Mail is also using electric vehicle technology for larger commercial vehicles to move mail within its network.

According to the company it has already met its business target of reducing its carbon emissions in the UK by 20% by 2010-21.

By using telemetry in 2017-18, Royal Mail saved approximately 500,000 litres of diesel, equating to 1,300 tonnes of CO2.