Deutsche Post may sell electric delivery vans to other companies – VW is not pleased

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With their regular routes, central depots and constant start-stop operation, postal delivery vans are a perfect candidate for electrification. Posten, the Norwegian postal service, recently ordered 240 Renault Kangoo Z.E.s to add to its existing fleet of 900 EVs). France’s La Poste operates a fleet of several thousand Kangoo Z.E.s.

Deutsche Post DHL, the privately-operated German postal service, apparently couldn’t find a commercially produced EV that met its needs, so it designed and built its own, with the help of a software program called Windchill, which allows the company to network with some 80 suppliers, including Bosch, which provides the electric drivetrain, and Hella, which makes the headlights.

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Deutsche Post’s StreetScooter has 280 cubic feet of storage, and can carry 2,200 pounds of cargo. It’s built to last about 16 years, based on 60 hours a week of typical usage. The company has about 1,000 of the vehicles on the road, and plans to expand production to 5,000 per year. It is currently considering whether to offer the EV for sale to other companies.

This doesn’t sit well with Germany’s industrial giant Volkswagen, especially as the postal service is phasing out legacy VW Caddy vans in favor of the electric Streetscooters.

“I am annoyed beyond measure,” said Volkswagen Chief Executive Matthias Mueller. “I, of course, ask myself why Post did not talk to our VW Commercial vehicles division about doing something similar [in fact, Volkswagen and Deutsche Post jointly developed a concept electric van in 2011, but the project seems to have gone nowhere].

A Deutsche Post spokesman told Reuters that the company elected to go it alone only because existing vehicle makers turned down requests to build the electric vans.

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Source: Reuters via AutoblogGreen

  • Ramon A. Cardona

    Superb effort with excellent results. Need created an affort and that effort created a specialized vehicle. There is no mention of per cost unit.

  • MorinMoss

    And one of their 1st customers should be USPS
    https://t.co/7E5rCHXwG8

    • Electric Bill

      “And one of their 1st customers should be USPS…” As an American, I strongly disagree. I am encouraged to see much German commitment to EV ubiquity, such as their recent public statement that there would be no more German ICE manufacturing after 2030, a mere 16 years from now.

      But Tesla is the company that really got EV production front-and-center worldwide, taking tremendous risks in the process— Musk has even stated publicly many times that he considered it a venture likely to fail, but that it was sufficiently important to make the effort, risking hundreds of millions of dollars.

      Tesla has earned and deserves the support of the US public and private, and recently stated it is going to be expanding its range of products to virtually every market—including full-sized, fully-electric semi tractors to be unveiled soon. I strongly support Tesla’s efforts, as they as a team have demonstrated conclusively that they put product quality and service at the top of their priorities— even above making a profit, which is what we have seen repeatedly.

      Tesla put off profits to expand the chain of Supercharging stations throughout the US and elsewhere. They shared thousands of EV-related patents, which is certainly altruistic and helps us become a far more sustainable culture.

      The Germans have shown an early commitment to sustainability, and deserve to keep the EV market they have created, but I am in favor of supporting all American industry here at home.

      Also, re: Volkswagen’s “irritation” at Deutsche Post: I could care less. They are no longer the idealistic little company cranking out wonderful, inexpensive little VW Beetles as they did in the 50’s and 60’s. They have a different mentality bent only on doing what is “right” if they are forced into it, such as what happened with DieselGate. Any company, country, or private customer has plenty of reason to be reluctant to do business with any company that displays such a pervasive lack of ethics.

      • cyberczar

        Tesla is great, but they don’t have the capacity for this right now. If Deutsche Post is essentially designing and assembling these things using essentially off the shelf components, for what amounts to a pretty industrial use, it’s bound to be pretty low margin. I doubt tesla would have much interest in that. Plus, the more players there are in the EV space, the bigger the market, and the better for ALL companies, tesla included.

      • Ian Ringrose

        Tesla could not make something so functional and hence so easy to maintain for 16 years, include swapping body part etc when (not if) they get damaged. Tesla image depends on making things that look nice….

        However I think these vans are too small for what UPS needs, but UPS could make their own vans based on the Deutsche Post design.

        PS, every time I read a post from something that thinks Tesla has an automatic right to own the EV market just because Facebook did not pay the taxes they should have so had money to burn, I start to question if Tesla cars are as good as they are….

  • brian_gilbert

    Cost is probably about that of an SUV and given that it will have a longer life and probably do more mileage in this job, quite acceptable. The nearest Renault or Nissan is significantly differrent in body design and so does not match Deutsche Post requirements. From the statement by the President of Volkswagen he does not seem to know of the attempts to collaborate mentioned by Deutsche Post.

  • Orlando Redondo

    Who want a monopoly to construct a concept e-car and develop it? This is a good example to learn.