Based on the company’s P80 trucks, which used Mercedes-Benz mechanicals, the four trucks were converted to electric power by German company Elektro Fahrzeuge Schwaben GmbH and will be used for short delivery routes around the city.

The conversion replaces the original four-litre diesel engine with a more powerful 122bhp electric motor. Like the rest of UPS’s fleet, the trucks are limited to 50mph, which allows the battery to offer a range of between 50 and 62 miles in normal use.

Fitting the battery under the floor means the P80’s 23m3 load area is unchanged, and a full recharge takes between eight and ten hours. The trucks form part of a global fleet of more than 3,100 electric, hybrid and natural gas vehicles in use on UPS delivery routes.

Rotterdam’s four electric delivery trucks were supplied as part of a partnership with the EU-supported FREVUE (Freight Electric Vehicles in Urban Europe) initiative, which is demonstrating the benefits of the technology across the region.

‘At UPS sustainability is a fundamental part of the way we do business - keeping a balance between economic, environmental and social factors - and FREVUE's aim to assess and encourage the deployment of electric freight vehicles makes the project a perfect fit for us,’ said Peter Harris, director for sustainability at UPS Europe.

‘Thanks to their zero tailpipe emissions, electric vehicles help reduce particulates and nitrogen dioxide in the atmosphere, and their quiet propulsion lessens the noise pollution in busy urban areas.’