The move towards electric delivery vehicles took a step closer last month with the unveiling of an e-van, produced in collaboration by Ford and Deutsche Post DHL Group, in the German city of Cologne. The launch of the StreetScooter WORK XL has been heralded as an innovative and environmentally friendly response to the challenge of increasing parcel deliveries, with 2,500 e-vans expected to be ready for service by the end of 2018. So what are the features and benefits of this potential game-changer?
The WORK XL is made up of a Ford Transit chassis, a body which has been built to Deutsche Post DHL specifications, and a battery-electric drivetrain. Boasting a load volume of 20 cubic metres and enough space to carry over 200 parcels, the WORK XL is certainly a significant upgrade in this regard from its predecessors: the WORK and WORK L have a load volume of only 4 and 8 cubic metres respectively. Shelves are installed in the load area, which has been designed to be entirely accessible from the cab. Loading is possible through the tailgate as well as the kerb-side sliding door. Thanks to a fitted modular battery system which provides 30 kWh to 90 kWh of power, it also has a range of between 80 and 200km.
In the past electric delivery vehicles have been criticised for high charge times. This issue has clearly been addressed by the makers; the WORK XL has a charging capacity of as much as 22 kW however, meaning charging times are typically only three hours.
Cutting out Emissions
Running on electricity means that each WORK XL is estimated to make an annual saving of approximately five tonnes in CO2 emissions and 1,900 litres of diesel fuel. As Jürgen Gerdes, a member of Deutsche Post’s executive board, put it: “It [the StreetScooter WORK XL] 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.”
Agreeing with Mr Gerdes in his endorsement of electric delivery vehicles, Steven Armstrong, group vice president and president, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Ford Motor Company, added: “We’re really proud of this ambitious project, and of the strong partnership we’ve developed with Deutsche Post DHL Group and StreetScooter. 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.”
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world’s largest neutral trading hub for same day courier work in the in the express freight exchange industry. Connecting professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Courier Exchange provides a valuable service, updating members with the latest information from the transport industry, including electric delivery vehicles road safety, fuel costs and other news. Over 4,500 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe ‘wholesale’ environment.