German Postal Service Turns To Ford For 2,500+ Electric Vans

5 months ago by Mark Kane 21

The chassis of the Ford Transit provides the technical basis. It will be equipped with a battery-electric drive train and fitted with a special body construction based on Deutsche Post and DHL Paket specifications.

Deutsche Post’s electrified plans haven’t stopped at just having a massive fleet of StreetScooter EVs, as the German postal service has just announced a deal with Ford to produce even bigger plug-in vans, using the Ford Transit as a base.

Initially, Deutsche Post acquired StreetScooter and immediately ramped up production of its own electric delivery vehicles, mostly because no other OEM was able to do the job to its timeline and satisfaction.

The StreetScooter GmbH subsidiary has now already produced and put more than 2,500 EVs into service, and is now preparing a new facility in order to build 20,000 units a year – both for personal use in its fleet, and to sell to others as a secondary offering for profit.  Now that’s forward thinking.

Deutsche Post’s current fleet of StreetScooter EVs

The new partnership with Ford-Werke GmbH is all about the E-Van, which will use a Ford Transit chassis underpinning an EV conversion.

The production of E-Van to begin in July 2017 and by the end of 2018, at least 2,500 units to be produced!

Deutsche Post (StreetScooter)

“Deutsche Post subsidiary StreetScooter GmbH and Ford-Werke GmbH are entering a partnership for the manufacturing of battery-electric delivery vehicles.

Deutsche Post has already left its mark in the smaller van segment by designing and producing the emission-free StreetScooter, now both partners are working on a larger vehicle type. The chassis of the Ford Transit provides the technical basis. It will be equipped with a battery-electric drive train and fitted with a special body construction based on Deutsche Post and DHL Paket specifications.

The start of production is scheduled for July 2017. Before the end of 2018, at least 2,500 vehicles will support the urban delivery traffic of Deutsche Post DHL Group. With this volume, the joint project will become the largest manufacturer of battery-electric medium-duty delivery vehicles in Europe.”

Jürgen Gerdes, member of the executive board of the Deutsche Post AG said:

“I consider this partnership another important boost for electro-mobility in Germany. This step emphasises that Deutsche Post is an innovation leader. It will relieve the inner cities and increase the people’s quality of life. We will continue working on completely carbon neutral CO2-neutral logistics!”

Steven Armstrong, group vice president and president Europe, Middle East and Africa, Ford Motor Company said:

“E-Mobility and innovative traffic solutions for urban areas are key focuses for us as we transform our business to meet future challenges. As the leader in commercial vehicles in Europa, this partnership plays perfectly to our strengths and in StreetScooters and the Deutsche Post DHL Group we have a partner with enormous competence and a worldwide network.”

About the StreetScooter:

“In addition to the new assembly line, the existing manufacturing of the StreetScooter models will be significantly expanded as previously announced. StreetScooter GmbH is planning to manufacture 20,000 units per year of their successful small electrical delivery van in different versions in Aachen and another site in North Rhine-Westphalia. Today, there are already 2,500 StreetScooters in use for Deutsche Post throughout Germany. More and more prospective buyers from the outside are signalling their interest or have already received StreetScooters in order to convert their fleet to zero-emission operation.”

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21 responses to "German Postal Service Turns To Ford For 2,500+ Electric Vans"

  1. ClarksonCote says:

    Meanwhile, the US Postal Service continues to “evaluate” offerings to replace their 100,000+ fleet of urban delivery vehicles.

    A Gen 2 Volt battery in an appropriate chassis, without any engine would give them the 50 miles of range they need each day, and be cost effective from day 1.

    Instead, we have all these lower volume manufacturers working to provide an estimate of what it would cost to build these vehicles… Undoubtledly at much higher cost than a large OEM could target.

    It’s very frustrating when such an obvious application for emissions savings and cost savings can’t get the traction it deserves.

    1. Nada says:

      Yes the USPS should go all electric and they should switch to every other day delivery which could cut their fleet and driving miles in half…
      They no longer have the delivey volume that justifys every day delivery…

      1. Ross says:

        Every other day? Talk about putting them into a death spiral. UPS is expanding to six day a week delivery. FedEx is already there. There’s no way they could move to every other day delivery and offer a competitive parcel product – and parcel delivery is the only way they can continue to bring in revenue over the long run. I’m speaking from the experience of someone who spends in the high five figures on shipping postage each year (eBay/Amazon sales).

        I do agree, however, the lack of innovation is frustrating. The USPS could use their current fleet refresh to substantially electrify in most delivery areas – but they don’t seem to have a tremendous amount of interest.

        1. Tom says:

          The drop in mail volume is staggering (even junk mail). I’ve had an idea floating around for awhile.
          1. Eliminate bulk rate mail.It would appear to be over 75% of mail volume.
          2. With the reduced load deliver 3 days per week to residents but 6 total. For instance depending on your address you are either MWF or TuThSat.
          3. Business addresses get daily mail but only if they pay a membership monthly fee. $50 or something.
          4. Post office still open every day.
          5. Post office expands extra services such as wiring money

          Businesses would still be processing mail daily but on the delivery end it would add a day to about half the mail. Next day overnight still delivered as such but separate delivery vehicle. Pretty sure that’s how it works right now anyway.

          The vast vast majority of mail is not time sensitive to the point where an extra day hurts.

          1. needa says:

            If I stop getting my mail every day because some guy on his ‘environmental ravaging machine’ wants to save the environment…. I’m gonna be pissed. Same goes with the Federal Government charging me a membership fee.
            Just sayin.

      2. ClarksonCote says:

        Ironically, near me they started delivering on Sundays too, for Amazon. Didn’t see that coming!

        1. needa says:

          They started that a year ago. Pretty cool stuff. Order on Thursday/Friday, get on Sunday.

          1. Martin Winlow says:

            Clearly we are all a bit spoilt here in the UK as, despite the fact that I can order something off eBay at 4pm or later, I still find things to whinge about to Royal Mail when that order arrives in the hands of my cheerful (perpetual shorts-wearing) posty at 0930 the next morning!

            1. Will Davis says:

              Nah, moaning is just what Brits do best.

            2. needa says:

              I sometimes can’t get a pizza delivered in hat amount of time.

  2. John says:

    The USPS should just buy 100,000 of the StreetScooters. Development is already done.

    1. Mike I. says:

      I wonder how the StreetScooter fits into FMVSS Regulations.

  3. realistic says:

    The USPS problem in a nutshell (some data a bit misleading — unintentional, I believe — but generally pretty much correct)

    http://www.greatbusinessschools.org/usps-long-life-vehicle/

    The main problem with the Deutsche Post truckette is top speed. It’s just too slow. American routes are too mixed in terms of street types and speeds, and to meet the criteria safely a 75mph(-ish) top speed is really needed. Not a lot of endurance at taht pace to be sure, but the ability to traverse an expressway to get to a route leg is mandatory to wrap aorund the 90+% of delivery vehicle missions. It also falls short of capacity (weight and volume).

    But the Post Office must also avoid specification creep. 5-10% of the vehicles requiring special capabilities for rural or otherwise unique missions can just be converted ICE vehicles.

    1. MM says:

      Wow what a great graphic. Let me add and make sure everyone knows the U.S. Postal service take no taxpayer money, and are mostly endangered because they are the only agency required to have retirement funds now for employees they haven’t even hired yet. They are also a large public Union, which earns them other poison pills, along with the Lobbying efforts from UPS and Fedex.

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        Yes, the retirement legislation for them is outrageous. No commercial business funds such a high percentage. The regulation is mind boggling.

        Makes me wonder if FedEx or UPS had heir lobbyists push for such an unfair requirement for the USPS

      2. Doggydogworld says:

        It’s a myth that USPS has to fund retirement programs for people they haven’t hired yet.

        It’s true they fund a higher percentage of retirement obligations than most private companies and government agencies. That should be fixed by increasing the funding requirement for the others, though, not by letting USPS slack off.

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          No, it shouldn’t be increased for others. It is fiscally ridiculous to do so. Businesses would go bankrupt everywhere. Nobody finds at the levels required of the USPS, yet everyone gets their retirement monies just the same.

          The USPS is being subjected to a ridiculous rule singling them out for no reason, and they shouldn’t be.

  4. Someone out there says:

    So basically they are unable to build their own vans fast enough for their liking so they turn to Ford to get half the job done by them? Sounds like a good strategy I suppose. I wonder why they didn’t ask VW, maybe they still are a bit upset about the Streetscooter thing? I bet asking an American company to make German cars didn’t help the situation 🙂

    1. Some Guy says:

      It’s a bit different. The original Streetscooter is a small delivery van (they have a bigger version on a similar or same platform now, too).

      The Ford Transit is AFAIK the biggest van available on the market, but its cargo capacity would be overkill for most routes, so they need only a few of those in every city.

      Therefore, only a small amount of those is actually required for Deutsche Post. It seems that a “conversion approach” for this different platform is the cheaper option. But rather than converting an ICE, Ford supplies selected key components right from the assembly line and Streetscooter adds the electric parts. Thus, they save development cost for an individual chassis as well as an dedicated chassis assembly line which would sit idle after the required units are built.

      (also, the Cologne Ford factory is close to Streetscooter’s Aachen factory)

  5. Mark C says:

    It helps that Ford knows they have the technology down and can build it themselves if none of the existing manufacturers will build them. Keeps them from saying, “It can’t be done,” or some other version of it ain’t happening.

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