First of many: DHL and Ford unveil new electric delivery van model

Delivery firm Deutsche Post DHL Group has today (16 August) kickstarted a new collaborative partnership with Ford that will place around 150 electric delivery vans into German delivery services in 2017.

DHL and Ford presented the first jointly-produced electric delivery van, dubbed the StreetScooter WORK XL, in Cologne. The vehicle utilises a Ford Transit chassis and a modular battery system delivering 30kWh to 90kWh. DHL will use the vehicles to support urban parcel delivery services across Germany.

“The new StreetScooter WORK XL expands our e-fleet in the commercial vehicle segment,” DHL’s member of the board of management post for ecommerce parcels Jürgen Gerdes said.

“It is the perfect vehicle for parcel deliveries in major cities and large urban areas, and will enable us to cope with the rising parcel volumes in an even more environmentally friendly and quieter manner. With this commitment, we are also underlining our claim of being the market leader in green logistics.”

The StreetScooter has been built to DHL specifications, and 150 models will be built at a tailored plant in Aachen. DHL and Ford hope to build 2,500 electric vans by the end of 2018, and the new model could be sold to third-party customers.

According to DHL, each StreetScooter WORK XL could save around five tonnes of CO2 and 1,900 litres of diesel annually. If all 2,500 vehicles are taken into account, the savings could reach 12,500 tonnes of CO2 and 4.75m litres of fuel each year.

Each WORK XL van can store more than 200 parcels and the batteries give the vehicle a driving range of between 80km to 200km. The average charge time for the new van is set at around three hours with a charging capacity of up to 22kW.

Ford’s EMEA group vice president Steven Armstrong added: “This joint project will be Europe’s largest manufacturer of emission-free, medium-sized e-vans, and it doesn’t come a moment too soon. Buses, cars, and of course, delivery vans play vital roles in our daily lives, but we have to find a way to make them cleaner. This project is a great step along this path.”

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DHL is the largest electric fleet operator in Germany, with more than 3,000 older StreetScooter models and 10,500 pedelecs currently utilised.

The German delivery firm’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond the use of electric vehicles. As well as being a member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circular Economy 100 initiative, DHL has championed a ‘reverse logistics’ business model that allows organisations to map and develop closed-loop product supply chains.

Alongside Hewlett-Packard (HP), DB Schenker, Kuehne+Nagel and Intel, DHL also committed to adopting a universal framework to calculate the carbon footprint of its freight and logistics supply chain. The framework accounts for all modes of transport such as road, rail, sea, air and transhipment.

Matt Mace


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