Clean men deliver: electric delivery vans on the rise


Yellow pioneer: The electric fleet of the Post is to be increased to 21,500 vehicles by the end of the year, produced by Streetscooter.
Image: obs/Ford-Werke GmbH

If an electric car is used sensibly, then it is probably for craftsmen or parcel services in the hustle and bustle of the city. The first offers are there. Including a shock when you look at the price list.

Dhe range of electric transporters is constantly growing. In the meantime, the manufacturers of light commercial vehicles have also offered an electric variant in most model series and in some cases even completely banned conventional combustion engines. A few years ago it was completely different. When Deutsche Post wanted to have a delivery van specially tailored to its own needs developed in 2014, all the well-known car manufacturers waved it off. As a result, Post DHL bought the start-up Streetscooter, which came from the area surrounding the Technical University of Aachen, and which then produced the electric vehicles for delivery operations as a subsidiary of Deutsche Post. With more than 17,000 parcel trucks running on electricity, the DHL Post can call itself a pioneer in the field of electromobility. Even though the Streetscooter company has now been sold to Odin Automotive after significant losses, the Post’s electric fleet is to be increased to 21,500 vehicles by the end of the year.

Most of the delivery vehicles cruising around our cities are still diesel-powered. But that is likely to change, the end of fossil fuels in automobiles has been heralded. Andreas Gorbach, chief developer at Daimler Truck, is convinced that battery-electric drives would quickly establish themselves in vans weighing up to 7.5 tons. The world’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer will no longer invest in diesel in this segment, Gorbach said at this year’s Vienna Motor Symposium. Diesel ban zones are already presenting van drivers with major problems, and stricter CO2 guidelines are forcing people to rethink. Last but not least, the pandemic is fueling the switch to electric mobility. Because since people have been increasingly buying online instead of in stores and shops and having the goods conveniently delivered to their homes, distribution traffic in the city has once again increased significantly. It feels like the neighbors get a package delivered every day. But if the summer dress or the new television comes by electric transporter, the conscience is no longer so bad.

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