The red and white Canada Post trucks are going green.

The Crown Corporation unveiled plans to achieve its target on Thursday, with the goal of transforming its fleet of vehicles to fully electric by 2040.

Canada Post says the electrification of its 14,000 vehicles will serve its commitment to reduce its environmental footprint and reach net-zero emissions by 2050, earmarking $1 billion to do so.

"Altogether, it’s a complete commitment to climate change," Doug Ettinger, president and CEO of Canada Post told CTV News Ottawa. "We’re committed to it, and it’s going to take in the next seven years, a billion dollars to get us to that point and then there will be further investments after that."

Ettinger says its road map to get there is based on expertise and the availability of electric vehicles, which are currently not easy to acquire because of the pandemic and the computer chip shortage.


At a Canada Post depot on Colonnade Road on Thursday, the corporation showcased electric and low-emission vehicles, including some its piloting.  Canada Post is launching a trial of a low-speed vehicle on a postal route, covering neighbourhoods west of downtown Ottawa.

A spokesperson for Canada Post told CTV News that the compact electric vehicle will be used in the Westboro neighbourhood, and could be on the road as early as this summer.

The vehicle reaches maximum speeds of 40 kilometres an hour. It will be used for delivery and collection activities for a year to evaluate its performance in operations and optimal safety procedures.

"It’s a great option to go zero emission," Ian Kerr, Vice-President of Business Operations for Canada Post told CTV News. "It’s also a narrower footprint; so, in terms of parking, etc. as well, particularity when we look at our delivery routes and the kind of distances we need to drive."

According to specifications for the vehicle, provided by Canada Post, the vehicle has an estimated range of 112 km. However, heat, air conditioning and heavy cargo could "use up to 50 per cent of estimated ranges,” according to the info sheet.

"Our vehicles drive about 30-40 km a day," said Kerr.

Ettinger says the corporation will also focus on building charging infrastructure for the electric fleet.

He says Canada Post's plan includes details on how they will build the infrastructure at about 350 of their depots for letter carriers.

Ettinger says the corporation will first add charging stations to the depots currently on electricity grids.

With files from The Canadian Press