Last February, Swiss Post announced that it had transitioned deliveries in Zurich and Bern to electric and said Geneva and Basel were to follow. This has now been done in Geneva, with Basel scheduled to go zero-emission by the end of this year.
“Following on from Bern and Zurich, Geneva will be the third major city in Switzerland, and the first in Western Switzerland, where 100% of letter and parcel deliveries will be made by three-wheeled scooters and electric delivery vehicles,” explained Philippe Juillard, Head of the Geneva distribution zone when announcing the news this week.
While Swiss Post has been working to electrify the fleet since 2010 – more on that below – the transition in Geneva started in 2019. It became a reality in November 2023 for deliveries in the city and the major industrial areas of Vernier, Meyrin, Carouge and Plan-les-Ouates.
“We were immediately able to test the effectiveness of this new feature during the important end-of-year period,” says Juillard.
Like other postal services, there are challenges to electrification regarding range and charging. The range was not a big problem in Geneva, adds Juillard, “as distances are short due to the central location of the Montbrillant delivery site.” At the same time, Swiss Post had to adapt the depot to host 45 charging stations.
Charging infrastructure build-up is underway not only in Geneva. Of the 455 Swiss Post delivery offices in Switzerland, around 142 have now been fully equipped with charging stations. 100% of the electricity consumed by Swiss Post’s delivery network is from renewable energies.
By 2030, this is to be the reality for the entire fleet, which by that time will include over 10,000 EVs.
Today, the fleet comprises more than 7,000 electric vehicles. Its 6,080 three-wheeled scooters for letter deliveries became electric already in 2017. Around 640 four-wheel electric vehicles are also in service, in addition to about 600 other electric vehicles. The latter are used by technicians, for example, as towing vehicles and forklifts.
“The transition programme for Swiss Post’s delivery fleet is ambitious. As a company owned by the Confederation and with its position in this open market, Swiss Post has a duty to set an example for others to follow,” concludes Juillard.