When UKIP sent the Guy Newsroom a press release claiming Royal Mail will burn £3.1 million a day by switching its delivery fleet to electric vehicles, which they worked out to be some £871 million annually – more than double Royal Mail’s profits – Guido had a few questions. “The sheer economic madness of Royal Mail’s electric van plans“, the release claimed. According to UKIP’s figures, recharging the 50kWh battery of one of their new Mercedes e-Vitos “takes 8 hours and costs 70p/kWh at the Royal Mail business electric rate“. That seemed a bit high – how on Earth did UKIP know how much Royal Mail were paying for their electricity?
Guido asked UKIP how confident they were of the commercially sensitive figures. “Very“, was the email response. Still, Guido remained sceptical, so he called them directly to get to the bottom of it. “How do you know their electricity rates? Did they tell you?”
No. It turns out they didn’t hear it from an “official” source. They got the figure from one postman.