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Electric carts for posties

By Don Farmer

[email protected]

Posties on bicycles may soon become a rare sight on the streets of Masterton as they make way for little red, electric vehicles.

Masterton District Council is today expected to give the all clear to New Zealand Post to introduce battery powered, eco-friendly Paxster vehicles for delivery of letters and parcels and with the ability to use both footpaths and the roadway.

New Zealand Post successfully trialled the vehicles in New Plymouth and has introduced them there and to a handful of other areas including Auckland’s North Shore, West Auckland, Ashburton, Oamaru and Invercargill with plans to eventually have them in use throughout the country.

Council approval is needed because the new vehicles would be utilising footpaths.

New Zealand Post has acknowledged there has been a significant drop-off in the number of letters it now processes but that the volume of parcels being delivered to homes is far greater which is attributed to the rising popularity of on-line shopping.

Andrew Beattie of New Zealand Post said as customer needs change “it makes sense” to look at using vehicles that are smaller than vans but with a greater carrying capacity than bicycles.

The four-wheel Paxster vehicles are designed to be recyclable.

When they come to the end of their working life the plastic, aluminium and steel components along with batteries can be easily separated and recycled.

Masterton District councillors will today decide whether to issue an approval to New Zealand Post for the vehicles to be used and, if so, chief executive Pim Borren will be asked to draw up a legal agreement with New Zealand Post.

This is likely to include a clause which will limit the speed of the vehicle while being used on a footpath to 15kmh and agreement the vehicles will not block footpaths or be used on grass verges.

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