On the road with an electric scooter

“It is the best thing that has happened to me in my entire career with Swiss Post,” says mail carrier Urs Schaub about his electric tricycle. He rides it every day in Ormalingen (BL), silently and emission-free.

Since Urs Schaub started work with the post office in Gelterkinden (BL) as an apprentice, he has delivered mail on foot, by bike and on various petrol-driven mopeds. He has been doing his round on his Kyburz DXP 5 electric tricycle for six years now. “In the beginning, we were all pretty sceptical,” admits our mail carrier. “Three wheels?” we thought, “it looks like something for senior citizens!”

Emission-free with eco-electricity

The advantages nevertheless became clear. “It doesn't smell the way the old mopeds did,” says Urs Schaub. And it is the same throughout Switzerland: at the beginning of 2017, Swiss Post took its last petrol-powered scooter off the road. Now, all of the 6,000 or so scooters used by Swiss Post for delivery purposes are electrically powered – using only eco-electricity produced in Switzerland. The electric vehicles require around six times less energy than a petrol scooter. With measures like these adopted as part of the Group-wide “pro clima – We’re acting now” climate protection programme, Swiss Post intends to reduce and avoid greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions entirely.

The batteries are recycled

After six to seven years, the battery capacity is no longer sufficient for the daily delivery rounds, but with a performance level still around 80 percent, the batteries can be put to excellent use in a static context. That is why Swiss Post has launched the “A second lease of life for Swiss Post scooter batteries” pilot project. Discarded batteries are used as energy storage units in buildings with solar panels.

Efficient and ergonomic

When Urs Schaub returns from his round, he docks his electric scooter in the charging station. It recharges over night at the cheapest rate. No need to call in at the petrol station any more. What's more, Urs Schaub can complete his round in a single trip: the superstructures, with their large loading area and weather protection, are optimized for Swiss Post so that everything can be loaded quickly. Equipped with a trailer, the mail carrier can set off on an electric tricycle carrying up to 270 kg in a single trip. And he can still reach speeds of up to 45 km/h. “The supposedly un-sporty three-wheelers are quicker than the mopeds of the past!”

They are also much more ergonomic: in the past, you had to lift the moped up onto its stand at every stop then lower it again: “Over time, it became a real chore,” says Urs Schaub. Thanks to its three wheels, there’s no risk of the DXP toppling over. The mail carriers can also rely on the automatic parking brake and focus on handling the letters. “All in all, it’s much more convenient and less dangerous – it’s the best thing that has happened to me in my entire career,” says Urs Schaub.

Employees share their ideas

Through their numerous good ideas, Swiss Post employees help make the vehicle increasingly comfortable to drive: a porous seat structure now ensures that no one needs drive around with a wet trouser seat when it rains. Or that it is too hot during summer.

So does the three-wheeler have no disadvantages? Urs Schaub laughs: “At most, the fact that our customers can't hear us coming any more – and sometimes check their letter box for nothing.”