Germany’s Postal Service Takes On Big Auto: Plans To Build 20,000 EVs Per Year, Sell To Public

6 months ago by Mark Kane 40

Deutsche Post (StreetScooter)

Deutsche Post DHL Group if quickly moving forward with its own in-house electric vehicle production plans.

The German logistics group bought Streetscooter in 2014, initially launching new production at 2,000 units annually … and upsetting Volkswagen along the way.

Streetscooter

“Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Mueller said he was “annoyed beyond measure” that the group did not talk to VW’s commercial vehicles unit.”

Deutsche Post DHL already uses 2,500 Streetscooter delivery vans, and is now doubling production by year’s end, to a 4,000 annual run-rate.

Part of the production will now be shifted to external fleet customers at a price of €32,000 ($34,000), which we believe will further upset Volkswagen (and maybe urge to offer some electric commercial VWs too).

Now comes word of a plan to launch a second assembly plant, and increase production capacity to 20,000 a year.  Apparently Deutsche Post DHL is in the car building business now!

“However, it has been considering whether to sell it to others and on Tuesday said it would seek another production site and double annual output to 20,000 vans by the end of the year. It plans to sell around half of this year’s production to third-party customers.”

Within 10 years Deutsche Post DHL sees opportunity for production of 100,000 Streetscooter annually.

source: Automotive News, hat tip to Alexander R!

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40 responses to "Germany’s Postal Service Takes On Big Auto: Plans To Build 20,000 EVs Per Year, Sell To Public"

  1. Cavaron says:

    Considering autonomous cars and drones, I’m not sure if 100.000 delivery EVs per year will bei needed in 2027. But for now it’s great news!

  2. Kim Jorgensen says:

    Nice move, more power to them. No wonder they didn’t speak to VW first, it would have been a waste of time.

    1. Daniel S says:

      They did ask VW to build something similar to the StreetScooter, but VW didn’t want to do it. At least Cleantachnica wrote an article saying so…

      1. James Fletcher says:

        I saw that as well. All the established mainstream vehicle makers refused (or didn’t reply) so INSIDEEVS article is misleading at best.

  3. mx says:

    Just another piece of circumstantial evidence that there’s an Oil-Auto Conspiracy.

    When the Post Office can build EV’s cheaper than established industries…

    1. Elon says:

      DHL purchased StreetScooter company in 2014, it doesn’t sent postmen to build cars 😉

      As the name says, it is like electric scooter with 4 or 3 wheels, both by load capacity and range, and by 50 mph top speed. It is quite specific low volume application, different from what automakers build in developed countries.

      1. randomhuman says:

        The name has nothing to do with what the company is building. Of course they also produce bikes (two wheels/three wheels) for the Deutsche Post but they’re also expanding the production in this normal four wheel car. It’s a real car that can drive up to 80km (50miles) with a speed of up to 80kmph (50mph). But it could go faster at around 120kmph (75mph). The Deutsche Post is only limiting it for city driving where you don’t need much speed. They’re also building a bigger version in the future with up to 100km (62miles) of range. They don’t need more range, so it is cheaper for them. So it’s not really different of what other car makers build. It’s like a VW Transporter only better with less maintenance and without complicated stuff inside. Keep it simple, keep it cheap. That’s the motto here.

  4. Alan says:

    Boo frickety hoo VW !

    That’s what you get for sitting on your hands and waiting for someone else to eat your lunch.

  5. OntarioLeaf says:

    In the meantime VW is busy decorating their cars with ever more contorted LED lights. It’s the biggest innovation coming from big auto these days.

    1. Martin T. says:

      LOL! You 100% right there with Vapour EV ware from VW.

      Here is a thought for VW – have you built something the post or other similar companies can actually buy and use in the EV market?

      Oh dear, no wonder the German post decided DIY is better / cheaper to make and maintain and is right now vs VW 🙂

  6. ClarksonCote says:

    Nice. Will the USPS ever electrify their fleet? I know they were looking at performers to build the latest replacements. If they’re not electric, it’s just an epic fail. They could save so much money (and emissions).

    1. ffbj says:

      I do know that the company that had been supplying the iconic delivery vehicle for decades, lost that contract. In regard to their search for new candidate vehicles, there is this:

      “Half of the prototypes will feature hybrid and new technologies, including alternative fuel capabilities. The prototypes will represent a variety of vehicle sizes and drive configurations, in addition to advanced powertrains and a range of hybrid technologies.” –USPS

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        Sadly, I’m feeling pessimistic here. Despite a fleet of hundreds of thousands of vehicles that commute a fixed number of miles per day, I’m worried they’ll botch this and buy regular vehicles, or at best, hybrids.

        It’s such a perfect use case for electrics, with the defined mileage and all that stop and go driving. Such a pity if they don’t go that route. I hope my pessimism proves unfounded.

        1. ffbj says:

          I just think you are realistic.
          I worked for the Postal service for a number of years, and, they are idiots.

          1. ffbj says:

            Though there are examples of intelligent decisions from individuals employed by the Postal Service:
            https://electrek.co/2016/02/25/mail-man-tesla-model-s/

            1. ClarksonCote says:

              Nice!

              It’s not clear to me if his car has a steering wheel on the right or left hand side.

              There are shots where it seems like he’s driving on the left, like a normal car, but there are other shots where he is on the right side, putting mail in the mailbox and then driving away, while his hand is still sticking out the right hand window.

              Hmmmm.

              1. James Fletcher says:

                Or…..the webpage designer simply flips the image without any thought? ?? (Because it looks better).

  7. Alan says:

    I surprised that Tesla hasn’t already got a light duty commercial van in the pipeline to take even more of their business away.

    1. CDAVIS says:

      @Alan – They do…using the Model 3 frame..one driver seat & rest cargo.

      1. Alan says:

        Have they said when they intend to release it ?

        I am assuming it’s a while yet as Mod Y next then Semi/pick up after that ?

    2. Didier says:

      No problemo 😉

      1. Didier says:

        Sorry, I was believing the “website” box would appear in my comment. Here it is :

        ***mod edit (Jay Cole***

        Just drop the YT URL into a comment, and the system will pick it up and format it into an embed video (I manually added it back to your comment above). Just as a point to note, it sometimes can take up to 60 mins or so to make a pass and convert it…but it’ll happen, (=

        ***mod edit***

  8. CDAVIS says:

    It’s of Volkswagen’s own doing that they are not today (nor anytime soon will) have a product that can compete against the EV Street-scooter.

  9. HeisenberghtNUTS says:

    I really enjoyed to finally read this!

    32K is a good price, I bet they will be overwhelmed by demand.

    I can virtually see the people at VW in rage!

    Given streetscooter can scale their production fast enough, we might see nice price reducing competition in the light duty market…

    Go streetscooter!

    1. Sommer says:

      I doubt 32k Euro is a good price, Renault sells the Kango ZE for 24k Euro https://www.renault.de/modellpalette/renault-modelluebersicht/kangoo-ze/preise-und-technische-daten.html .
      The crappy door handels of the Streetscouter alone would let me buy the Kangoo . The Streetscouter has only flat springs at the rearaxle, has it Airbags at all?

  10. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

    15.75kWh battery.
    Obviously they feel that it’s enough for many of their urban cycles and they figure that if they’re making them they might as well try to sell them.

    1. randomhuman says:

      20,4kWh says their website…

  11. August says:

    This isn’t news. This is from 3 april 2016(in German): http://www.sueddeutsche.de/auto/streetscooter-deutsche-post-baut-eigene-elektroautos-1.2932192

    Please check sources before something is published as news 😉

    1. Taylor S Marks says:

      You’ve missed the new part then. Yes, we’ve known they’ll build ~2K vehicles for internal use per year since last year. The news is that on top of that, they’ll be building a further ~20K a year to sell to others.

      1. Jay Cole says:

        Indeed,

        Just as a point of reference, we did carry that story back in the day as well:

        Deutsche Post Goes Electric With StreetScooter (30,000 EVs On The Table)
        http://insideevs.com/deutsche-post-goes-electric-with-streetscooter-30000-evs-on-the-table/

        And the Deutsche Post DHL story way back in the days when they were just starting a pilot project of 141 electric vans ~ 4 years ago, and their almost tie-up with Renault in 2014 on future Kangoo ZE buys, etc. Its been a fascinating story to watch unfold really.

        1. Martin Winlow says:

          I wonder if the posties will be as enthusiastic about driving them. I can’t help think they would be better off on a Kangoo especially from a safety POV – and I’m pretty sure Renault would have been able to do a deal that would have cost less, too.

          1. Some Guy says:

            I doubt that Renault could have offered something competitive. Deutsche Post wanted a vehicle with access to the payload from 3 sides. They sell it starting at 32 k€, so 28 k€ after incentives for the customer. The cost for manufacturing is probably very low (even at 300 $/kWh, the battery in that thing is just 6 k, and there is nothing non-essential in the vehicle. For example, the vehicle does not have a passenger seat, to make room for additional cargo.

          2. Some Guy says:

            Regarding the safety: The Streetscooter has limited speed and acceleration. There is limited risk for accidents (especially dangerous high speed collisions) for vehicles delivering mail in inner city or residential areas. Apart from an occasional fender bender, these types of delivery vehicles (ICE or EV) are usually not involved in accidents. It surely has some standard safety features implemented.

  12. Alexander R says:

    I cannot wait to see this yellow streetscooter at my door. Right now the mail delivery woman has a diesel and it is such a waste: drive 10 meters, stop, drive 10 meters, stop… Electric car totally makes sense.

  13. Paul Smith says:

    VW has lost their way from the days when they built the “People’s Car”. Now everything is over complicated and expensive.

    1. pjwood1 says:

      labor = 600,000 plus. Engine manufacture primarily in Germany, itself. Tricky planning ahead.

  14. Dr. Steelgood says:

    I’ve seen one in operation, just a week ago in southern Germany. I asked the driver about his experience: he was very positive, however he reported one failure of the computer screen. Unfortunately, I did not take a picture of the inside of the car. At least, I saw that it was a LHD model, which is the usual mode here in Germany.

    1. randomhuman says:

      I saw two of them too lately in Saxony around Leipzig. Unfortunately I missed the driver every time. But I really want to ask them about the experience they have.

  15. Jay says:

    I have one of 50 US Postal Service electric Grumman KurbWatt vans built in 1983. It’s still a far smoother vehicle than the noisy gas LLV that went into production instead.