Deutsche Post DHL Fleet Goes Electric

Deutsche Post DHL, the world’s leading logistics group, has commissioned German based StreetScooter to develop a new electric vehicle for its delivery fleet.

The new delivery vehicle will be based on the modular StreetScooter electric car platform, which was shown at the Frankfurt IAA 2011 auto show in September (watch the video). It’s part of Deutsche Post DHL’s global GoGreen initiative aimed at achieving a 30 percent improvement in CO2 efficiency by the year 2020.

“Protecting the environment is one of the stated goals of Deutsche Post DHL,” says Jürgen Gerdes, board of management member responsible for mail at Deutsche Post DHL. “As operators of one of the largest vehicle fleets in Germany, we have a special interest in deploying vehicles with [zero] emissions that are economically efficient and can handle the daily stresses and strains of delivery work.”

The electric vehicle for Deutsche Post’s mail and parcel delivery service has to meet a number of very specific requirements. It must be able to handle up to 200 stops and start-up procedures and be in use 300 days a year. It has to have sufficient load capacity for mail and parcels. And it needs to have a robust set of equipment that meets all the safety requirements.

According to Deutsche Post DHL, electric vehicles currently available on the market do not meet all of these requirements, and they are too expensive. The joint development project with StreetScooter is expected to break these barriers: “We have sought competent partners in StreetScooter GmbH and selected institutes such as RWTH Aachen University in order to develop just such a custom vehicle for Deutsche Post, one that is designed to be produced at a competitive price,” Gerdes says.

Professor Achim Kampker, chair of production management at RWTH Aachen University and CEO of StreetScooter commented:

“From the outset, it has been StreetScooter’s objective to make electric mobility an economically viable alternative, with no compromise in terms of safety. We are achieving these objectives through what we call a ‘disruptive network approach’: Taking nothing for granted, we start from a clean sheet of paper, focusing on the specific requirements of electric cars. By leveraging our partners’ specialized know-how in an innovative network approach, we will be able to achieve our price and performance goals.”

The first phase of development for the vehicle will focus on a design that meets the specific requirements of Deutsche Post DHL. It is expected to be completed by early 2012, with the delivery of a number of prototypes for evaluation.

If all goes well, decisions about serial production of the vehicle will be made. Overall, Deutsche Post DHL expects that more than 3,500 vehicles will be needed for all its corporate divisions.

For more about StreetScooter’s approach to product development, visit the PLM Resource Center

Photo courtesy of Deutsche Post DHL

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