If you’re as old as I am you’ll remember the days when the Postmaster General’s Department … the predecessor of Australia Post … ran a large fleet of small column-shift Bedford vans in major urban areas.
They were generally driven all over the suburbs as if the devil was running close behind and … if you happened to be the passenger … you clung to anything you could get your hands on because your life probably did depend on your grip.
These were in the days before OH&S regulations … there were no seatbelts and entry and exit for driver and passenger was via large sliding doors that only ever seemed to be closed in heavy rain.
Yes those were the good old days and most of us who travelled in those vans do remember them with some fondness. Of course those days are long gone and yesterday Renault and Australia Post announced a whole new era in small red delivery vans.
Starting in June Australia Post will take delivery of a small group … 2 in Melbourne and 2 in Sydney … of Renault Kangoo Z E vans. These zero emission fully electric vans are the first Renault electric vans to be introduced in Australia and Australia Post will use them for parcel deliveries.
While the company is obviously using the trial to showcase the Renault Kangoo electric van to the Australian marketplace Australia Post is looking a variety of metrics to see if fully electric vans are the way to go for suburban work in the future.
The Renault Kangoo electric van is powered by a Synchronous AC electric motor with a maximum power output of 44 kW (60hp).
The power is supplied by a Lithium Ion battery that requires 6 to 9 hours to reach maximum charge and that gives the vehicle a range of between 80 and 125 km.
So the days of the red Bedfords might be long gone but remember, this is an electric vehicle and electric vehicles have some fairly sparkling acceleration so maybe we’ll see a Renault Kangoo electric van being driven like in days of old when the devil was just behind and gaining fast.