Member countries of PostEurop dedicate this year's Europa issue to Postal Vans. The Europa stamp is issued annually by member countries with a common theme which on this occasion focuses on the vehicles used for transportation of mail over time.
In Spain postal transport has evolved parallel to the industrial and technological development. For centuries the transportation of correspondence was realized on horseback until the arrival of the railway which entailed a massive revolution in communications. For the first time, on September 1, 1851 mail was loaded on the train linking Madrid and Aranjuez, via the Andalusian railway line. For nearly 150 years the railway was the most widely used mean of transport, until June 30, 1993 when the last train carrying a postal cargo was operated. Road transport then replaced the rail network speeding up the process of sending correspondence.
Another key moment for the transport of mail was the use of airplanes in 1920 upon payment of a special fee.
Today, the network of postal vehicles in Spain exceeds 13,000 units amongst cars, vans, SUVs, trucks and motorcycles, which altogether cover more than two million kilometers a year.
In 2008, Correos initiated a pilot project with the first use of non-polluting electric vehicles intended to reduce environmental deterioration. Since then the fleet has increased to 200 electric vehicles operating in historic city centers, reducing noise pollution and CO2 emissions.
The stamp depicts an electric car by Spanish company Comarth, with 300 kilograms of cargo, maximum speed of 50 kilometers and a range of up to 100 kilometers.