German logistics firm Deutsche Post DHL has designed and produced its own electric delivery van.
According to Reuters, the new vans will replace the company's conventional Volkswagen vans, as demand grows for e-commerce deliveries without adding pollution to Germany’s cities.
Named the Streetscooter, Deutsche Post already has 1000 of the bright yellow vans onto German streets, with the company planning production output of 5000 a year - possibly even more.
The move has left Volkswagen disappointed, however.
“I am annoyed beyond measure, Volkswagen chief Matthias Mueller told Reuters.
“I, of course, ask myself why Post did not talk to our VW Commercial vehicles division about doing something similar.
Mueller still believes the two firms can collaborate on a similar product, though.
“Let's see if we can still get a foot in the door there,” he added.
The Streetscooters have been built to last 16 years, be used six days a week, for 10 hours at a time.
Components such as the doors have been designed to withstand being opened and closed up to 200 times a day.
Other advantages of the electric vans are the simplified assembly, requiring a tenth of the staff usually needed during assembly for combustion-engined vehicles - significantly reducing production costs - and the reliance on electricity rather than fossil fuels means the total cost of ownership is no more expensive than conventionally-powered vans.
Before the end of the year, Deutsche Post will decide whether to sell its vans on the open market.
Locally, Australia Post has been trialling a small fleet of electrified Renault Kangoo Z.E. vans, but it has yet to offer any word on a wider rollout of electric vehicles.
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