At the end of April 2019, the Minister of the Interior, Jan Hamáček, launched a project of the so-called “greening” of the Czech Post. The purchase of electric cars was to be a part of it, but the post office withdrew from the plan. They have not yet purchased electric cars, but will reduce the existing fleet of 5,719 vehicles (some running on compressed gas). However, the state enterprise does not completely give up “green” plans – it will buy e-bikes for the postmen.
“Czech Post is to be an example for other companies as well as for state institutions, as is the case in France or Germany. The post office is a nationwide company with a large fleet of cars and a number of facilities, so it is an ideal company where we can implement energy saving projects or install our own or public charging of electric cars. “ Last year, Hamáček defended the emphasis on ecology.
However, the post office ended 2019 with a record loss of 376 million crowns, another three quarters of a billion cost it to provide services during the pandemic. Instead of “greening”, the company now focuses mainly on savings. “Currently, the post office is preparing projects that will lead to a reduction in the number of vehicles and thus to a reduction in overall costs,” states the company’s spokesman Ivo Vysoudil, noting that the reduction in the number of cars has an ecological aspect in addition to financial savings.
Although the post office has been testing four electric cars for a long time, it does not plan to purchase them. “The purchase of electric vehicles in larger quantities is not current at the moment, we are not preparing a tender. However, a project is being prepared for the purchase of e-bikes and at the same time they are being intensively tested, ” adds Vysoudil.
The company did not say how much the post office wants to invest in e-bikes, as well as the extent of the planned reduction of the existing vehicle fleet. In 2018, the state-owned company announced a tender for the purchase of 35 to 60 electric cars. However, the only applicant entered the competition, so the post office canceled the tender and is not planning another.
The change in the exchange rate is also related to the change in the post of director of postal logistics services. Martin Kment took the place last October. “The current goal is smaller, but all the more efficient and profitable mail logistics,” said Kment after his appointment. The manager, who previously worked in, for example, Škoda Auto’s logistics, worked with DHL or Czech Railways and also worked in India, Africa and Mexico, has not yet communicated his plans to the unions.
“He has not presented his thoughts to us yet. But we welcome any solution that will make work easier for postmen, we definitely wanted e-bikes. Thanks to them, couriers will tread less. “ said Jindřiška Budweiserová, chairwoman of the largest trade unions at the post office. E-bikes could make it easier for postmen to work where they walk or where they use ordinary bikes, mostly in the countryside.
However, the metropolis also counts on greater use of e-bikes. The municipality announced on Wednesday that a network of up to ten bicycle hops will be created in the territory of Prague for the distribution of goods around the city by electric bicycles. Additional depots are to be built by private companies. The new depot at Anděl is to open in the summer. It will not be the first – a cyclodepo has been operating in Florence since last November, from which companies have already transported over thirty thousand consignments.