Starting March 20, 2017, Australia Post began using electric utility carts to serve routes in Hobart, Tasmania on a trial basis. Five new three-wheeled carts now deliver goods in Howrah, Bellerive, Mornington, Montagu Bay, Rosney Park, Warrane and Tranmere.
According to Mitch Buton, Australia Post’s Head of Network Optimisation, Hobart is an excellent starting point for the trial due to the area’s increasing reliance on Internet-based shopping. Australia’s yearly growth rate for online shopping is around 11.5 per cent, but Hobart’s rate is currently well above the national average at 13.8 per cent. Clothing, health and beauty products and recreational items are especially popular with local shoppers. Another reason Hobart was chosen for the trial is its flat terrain.
Parcel-Perfect Electric Carts Outshine Current Vehicles
The factory-fresh e-vehicles are designed by Swiss company Kyburz and are developed and produced in Switzerland. The carts boast three times the weight capacity of the Australian Post’s current postie motorbikes; they can accommodate up to 100 small parcels and 1,200 letters per trip. The carts can also speeds of reach up to 45km/h, and their nine-hour battery life gives drivers ample time to meet their delivery goals.
How Electric Utility Carts Are Ideal for the Post
Australia Post’s parcels volume currently generates more than 70 percent of their total revenue compared to the 25 percent that it contributed a decade ago. Now more than ever, efficient vehicle performance is a must. Several years ago, as the workforce began to shift towards carrying small parcels and letter volumes dropped to half of their former values, posties were equipped to handle the change. The addition of electric utility carts will allow them to deliver even higher parcel volumes, which will help to ensure their future job security. E-vehicles are also in use in Switzerland and Germany, where authorities report benefits such as improved rider safety and lower emissions in addition to greater load capacity.
Hobart Trial Details
Hobart’s e-vehicle trial will span three months. Similar pilot projects are scheduled for launch in Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia. If successful, the other Australia Post may continue to incorporate the greener, battery-powered alternative to traditional postie trikes, giving both online shoppers awaiting their goods and environmental activists a new reason to smile. Hopefully, other industries will soon follow suit.