Deutsche Post subsidiary StreetScooter and Ford Motor Company have formed a partnership to build battery-electric delivery vehicles. The companies will begin production next month and hope to have at least 2,500 vehicles will be on the road by 2018.
Earlier this year, Deutsche Post said it would double production of its electric delivery vans, in an effort to curb emissions and generate new lines of income. The group already uses its the Streetscooter for its own operations to avoid inner-city emissions and it has manufactured more than 1,000 e-bikes for mail carriers.
"This step emphasizes that Deutsche Post is an innovation leader. It will relieve the inner cities and increase people's quality of life," Deutsche Post executive board member Juergen Gerdes said in a statement.
In April, Deutsche unveiled plans to step up production and sell to other delivery firms. Reuters reports that the group decided to build its own vans after it could not agree on a wider supply contract with established vehicle makers. The company, which had €57bn in revenue last year, is also working on a country-wide network of maintenance and repair shops.
“E-Mobility and innovative traffic solutions for urban areas are key focuses for us as we transform our business to meet future challenges," says Steven Armstrong, group vice president and president Europe, Middle East and Africa, Ford Motor Company. "As the leader in commercial vehicles in Europe, this partnership plays perfectly to our strengths and in StreetScooter and the Deutsche Post DHL Group we have a partner with enormous competence and a worldwide network."
A spokesperson for Ford told Reuters that the American automaker will supply vehicle technology based on the Transit model. However, Deutsche Post will keep assembly, distribution and sales in-house.
The electric vehicles market is expected to be worth $731 billion by 2027, according to the latest market research on the subject. Discussing the technology’s potential impact, analyst say it will profoundly change society by 2037.
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