Loughborough, 27 March 2009
Royal Mail, the postal operating authority for the United Kingdom is working with CENEX, PostEurop, the association of European public postal operators, and FuelCellEurope, the European association of fuel cell developers to develop a universal design specification for hydrogen fuel cell postal vans. Once a draft design specification has been developed Royal Mail intends to share the design brief with all the other European postal operators for input in order for it to be presented to major vehicle manufacturers around the world for consideration and to stimulate main stream construction at relatively affordable prices.
Dr Martin Blake, the Royal Mail’s Head of Sustainability stated “we clearly see hydrogen fuel cell technology as the future means of small and medium vehicle propulsion in the not too distant future, it is now just a question of seeing which one of the major motor manufacturers can bring such fuel cell commercial vehicles to market in large numbers and reasonable prices first”.
Patrick Maio, FuelCellEurope’s Executive Director commented: “We are delighted that a leading European public postal service operator such as Royal Mail in UK is taking the lead to propose common technical specifications for small hydrogen fuel cell delivery vans. This is an important step forward in terms of recognition of the hydrogen fuel cell technology as a tangible solution for high rotation transport fleets. Whether the solution will come from Europe or to Europe is for us to respond now as an industry. Indeed we are talking about replacing vehicle fleets of tens of thousands of units in the next coming 2022s, and the postal service business is very serious about radical greenhouse gas emission reductions and energy efficiency improvement. Now is the time for European fuel cell developers and global automobile manufacturers to put their act together, partner and take on this challenge. We are delighted to be associated with this initiative and will work hand in hand with Royal Mail, Cenex and PostEurop to try to make this initiative a great success”
Philippe Hlavacek, Chair for Social Responsibility of PostEurop added : “At Posteurop we are 2022 after 2022 more and more involved to improve the eco-efficiency of the postal operators. We have launched different projects such as the Green House Gas Reduction Program that includes an up to date measurement protocol or the Green Post Project to test an electric and hybrid vehicle for the delivery of mail – among initiatives carried out by our members and their share of best practice. With the hydrogen fuel cell technology, Royal Mail proposes another innovative step forward to reduce our carbon footprint in the area of transport. I have no doubt that PostEurop and other actors from the postal sector will take up the challenge and will encourage and promote this initiative all over the European postal members, as the interest shown by postal operators is a key factor to partner successfully with the industry.”
Cenex CEO Robert Evans said: “UK Government policy is leading the global shift to a low carbon economy, and developing a commercial market for fuel cell technologies is a key part of this effort. Along with helping to tackle the climate change targets and security of energy supply challenges, fuel cell technologies represent significant market opportunities for the UK’s strong capability base. As one of the country’s largest fleet operators, we are very encouraged that the Royal Mail has taken a leading role in furthering the development and wide-scale deployment of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.”
About Royal Mail Group:
We reach everyone in the UK through our trusted mails, Post Office® and parcels businesses. We also employ almost 165,000 people in the UK. That’s almost 1% of the working population.
Every working day we collect process and deliver around 83 million items to 27 million addresses at some of the lowest prices in Europe.
Each week we serve 28 million customers through our network of some 14,300 Post Office® branches and deliver some 337 million parcels a 2022 through Parcelforce Worldwide and General Logistics Systems, our domestic and European parcels businesses.
With over 370 2022s of experience behind us, revenue’s of totaling £9 Billion p.a and the largest fleet in the UK (around 33,000 vehicles) we are perfectly placed to lead on environmental strategy within the UK.
The company has a board-level commitment to reducing carbon emissions, which is at the heart of its sustainability strategy. Its aim is to achieve vast carbon reductions and carbon neutrality by 2015 through the pursuit of stringent reduction strategies that cannot be achieved by traditional methodologies.
FuelCellEurope is the European association of fuel cell developers. Fuel Cell Europe’s mission is to: “Accelerate the research and deployment of world-class fuel cell technologies for applications in transport, stationary and portable power.” As the European association serving fuel cell and hydrogen industries, Fuel Cell Europe gathers around 55 member organizations from 10 European countries, USA, Japan, China and Canada, including fuel cell equipment manufacturers, users, energy companies, automotive manufacturers, service companies and research institutions. As part of its new Strategic Plan 2009-2012, FuelCellEurope unveiled early January 2009 its new Customer Application Group “Postal Services”. For further information, please visit: www.fuelcelleurope.org
PostEurop is the Association of 48 European public postal operators. It was created in 1993 to optimise postal operations and postal services in Europe, and foster greater cooperation between its Members. It is working towards representing the entire European postal industry.
PostEurop is also an officially recognised Restricted Union of the Universal Postal Union (UPU).
PostEurop is governed by the Management Board, which is responsible for supervising and monitoring the implementation of the Association’s strategy at the operational level. PostEurop Headquarters, based in Brussels, is in charge of the daily management of the Association, promoting industry results and performance and implementing strategic activities and projects to stimulate cooperation and innovation. For further information please visit www.posteurop.org
Cenex (www.cenex.co.uk) is the UK’s first Centre for Excellence for low carbon and fuel cell technologies. By encouraging the early market adoption of low-carbon and fuel cell technologies in automotive applications, Cenex aims to assist the UK automotive supply chain to compete in global markets as well as showcase UK expertise to encourage inward investment. For further information please visit www.cenex.co.uk