The characteristics of a really good delivery vehicle in postal last mile

Results from several leading postal services that have implemented micro-logistic EVs (MLEVs) find that they have achieved between 15% – 25% productivity improvements. This is because some MLEVs are purpose-built and provide optimal support for the task, workflow and ergonomic requirements of the delivery agent. They are often characterized by their small footprint and open-door design. But improved productivity does not come from a simple 1:1 replacement and it requires that the postal service have several tools in their toolbox.

Here are some important characteristics of MLEVs:

  • Seating and floor design optimized for 300+ quick and effortless entries / exits every day. Usually a narrow floor and saddle seat will improve ergonomics and productivity of the workflow.
  • Ability to deliver fast and ergonomically without leaving the seat for drop off points close to the road. Should be able to deliver on both sides of the road.
  • Open bodied design to avoid strains and time to opening and closing doors. This also contributes to reduced sick-leaves during winter.
  • Ability to access the entire trunk from outside, operating doors with one hand or elbow only. Lifting height is ergonomically ideal. 
  • Cargo is also placed inside direct, ergonomic reach of the driver to save time and movement.
  • Four wheels for improved driver safety, with a low center of gravity.
  • Battery and charging system tailored for postal delivery, with low initial investment costs.
  • Fully automatic parking brake system for easy in/out and maximum safety during frequent starts/stops. Ideally connected to a seat switch for added safety.
  • Power mapping optimized for quick acceleration and energy efficient cruise.
  • Pressure sensitive regenerative braking system for saving brake wear and energy optimization.
  • Great performance in wintery conditions

Connectivity 2.0. for last mile

Posts should expect more from their connectivity solutions

Most modern vehicles today should offer basic connectivity services. But apart from allowing you to open and close doors and configure pre-heating, they often offer limited value to posts. Many third-party fleet management solutions are available, but they usually only have access to a limited number of onboard signals + integrated sensors. This results in somewhat limited capabilities.

The speed of technological developments should prompt posts to expect more from their suppliers and get access to fleet connectivity systems that deliver true value – to managers and drivers.

Some examples of what posts should expect from their supplier:

  • The ability to set up a hierarchy of administrators, depot managers and drivers in the OEM solution.
  • Allowing for drivers to easily change vehicles, accounting for GDPR rules.
  • Being able to give push notifications about important events, such as forgetting to put a vehicle on charge before leaving for the day.
  • Access service information from onboard diagnostics, and coordinate with local service providers.
  • Transferring actual routes to route planning software to make the very import process of reconfiguring routes easier.
  • Easily pulling live vehicle data and use that data in other software (i.e. parcel tracking) through open APIs.
  • Doing daily, weekly, and monthly vehicle inspections (for drivers)
  • Ability to do geo-fencing with reduced speed or other behaviors inside defined geographic areas.
  • Access to each and every onboard signal, including traditional fleet management data to create better notifications.
  • Ability to also install on other vehicles in the fleet.

A properly designed MLEV should give the following benefits:

  • Improved employee satisfaction
  • Improved public acceptance
  • Improved TCO relative to more Transportation alternatives
  • Reduced particulate matter and Co2-emissions
  • Perform core task 15-25% more efficiently, relative to transport alternatives, including loading.
  • Reduce sick-leave rates by 5-15%
  • Increase overall capability of the delivery network, such as allowing for collection services.
  • Reduced investment costs in infrastructure relative to conventional EVs.