7 October 2016

Deutsche Post builds its own e-vehicles

The German post office company Deutsche Post has designed and built 1,000 electric delivery vans for use in cities it services, writes Brian Byrne.

The company is replacing Volkswagen vans with its own 'Streetscooters' which can carry out deliveries without adding to pollution in the cities.

Deutsche Post, part of the global DHL group, took advantage of the growth of external suppliers to the automotive industry to build the vehicles. With up to 80pc of a car's components being supplied from outside, established carmakers are becoming vulnerable to new entrants like Google, and possibly Apple, going the route to build their own vehicles.

Deutsche Post said carmakers had turned down requests to build the Streetscooter-type vehicle because of relatively small production runs.

The company plans to build 5,000 units a year to replace its smaller vans for local deliveries. The vehicles will be of varying sizes, and electric cargo bicycles and tricycles are also in the production mix.

Electric vehicles are simpler in design than traditionally-engined cars and require less people to build them.