Deutsche Post, or DHL, is bringing its electric delivery van the Streetscooter to market next year. The German company set its sights on developing electric vehicles several years ago, in a bid to cut carbon emissions over the last mile section of its distribution network. Now the world’s largest parcel delivery services provider says other post and logistics providers can buy into the Streetscooter vehicle model too.
Today last mile deliveries rely almost exclusively on diesel-powered trucks. As an alternative, zero-emissions vehicles could be an important step in curbing global carbon emissions.
Last week a spokesman for the company announced that deliveries would begin in 2017. “We want to start sales to third parties from next year,” the spokesman told German news magazine Der Spiegel.
Deutsche Post initially developed the Streetscooter, a four-wheeled electric van with a range of up to 120 kilometres, for its own use for delivering mail and parcels. But now mass production of the vehicles is planned with a target to produce up to 10,000 vehicles per year, according to reports.
DHL claims the Streetscooter can be adapted to each customer’s needs, including a battery management system that maximises efficiency. Each individual customer’s branding can also be emblazoned onto the hood, sides, and steering wheel – a useful splash of branding out in the communities being served. Being seen to be green is a real marketing plus for online retailers and their couriers.
The market for electric cars has been shaken up by California start-up Tesla Motors which proved the barriers to entry into the auto industry had been lowered. Nissan, Renault and Ford are all manufacturing electric vans.
The Streetscooter has a limited range – 120 kilometers or about 70 miles – however this is considered to be workable for short stop-and-start urban delivery routes.
DHL says its electric delivery van slashes maintenance costs by 50% and repair costs by up to 80%. And with electricity still cheaper than diesel fuel, even with today’s low oil prices, the proposition makes commercial sense. With leading vehicle manufacturers now vying for business in this new eco-van market, fleet managers and retail logistics directors will want to study what’s available in close detail, before committing to a major spend.
- DHL for media use only