Electric cars: Delivery services are becoming electric

More and more postal and delivery services are driving electrically through residential areas, inner cities and commercial areas. Not only environmental zones accelerate the transition, the silent and emission-free delivery is often simply cheaper. The powerful US Postal Service recently announced that it would double the number of electric delivery vans purchased to more than 25,000 vehicles. Deutsche Post / DHL has been operating one of the largest electric fleets in Germany since 2019 with 10,000 street scooter vehicles developed and produced in-house and around 12,000 e-bikes / e-trikes.

The street scooters developed and manufactured in-house flopped. Burning batteries, high production and maintenance costs made DHL withdraw from the electric van business and finally sell the manufacturing rights to a Luxembourg consortium. DHL intends to invest seven billion euros in climate-neutral logistics by 2023. The Street Scooter Gigabox, which can transport up to 240 parcels in its twelve cubic meters of cargo space – electrically, of course, should bring more success.

The delivery giant Amazon is not only on the road worldwide with 1800 vans of the Mercedes models eVito and eSprinter, but has also developed its own delivery van together with the American electric car start-up Rivian. “We need to continue innovating and partnering with automakers like Mercedes-Benz to decarbonize the transportation sector and fight the climate crisis,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and former CEO, on the occasion of the partnerships.

Amazon initially ordered 100,000 of the delivery vehicles in 2019, which bear the official name EDV – Electric Delivery Van – and are to be delivered by the end of 2024. The Rivian Commercial Van is available with single-axle or all-wheel drive and has a loading volume of 12,700 to 25,000 liters and payloads between 890 and 2400 kilograms. Its turning circle is 16.70 meters. The electrically powered models are connected to each other and to the headquarters via their own fleet operating system for maximum efficiency and cost optimization.

20 percent of the Rivian shares belong to Amazon. The EDP are manufactured in the Rivian main plant in Normal / US state of Illinois. The first model, with a handful of vehicles entering service in California, is the Rivian EDV 700, which has a cargo volume of 700 cubic feet, which translates to nearly 20 cubic yards of storage space. The maximum range of the electric load master is 320 kilometers. It can be recharged with up to 150 kW. From the middle of this year, the Rivian Delivery Van should also be available for other fleet customers; Deliveries are planned from early 2023.


Deutsche Post could not find a supplier for the electric cars they had in mind and had them produced without further ado. The adventure is now over, but many of the approximately 10,000 Post / DHL Streetscooters are still on the road.
(Image: Deutsche Post / DHL)

As a pure parcel delivery service, FedEx has opted for the models from Bright Drop, a General Motors subsidiary. “What sets Bright Drop apart is our ecosystem,” says Bright Drop CEO Travis Katz, “We don’t just make electric vehicles or fleet management software. We build intelligent solutions that make the movement of goods easier and more efficient while creating better communities for all of us. “

Bright Drop’s Zevo 600 is a battery electric van designed for the delivery of goods and services. It offers an electric range of over 400 kilometers with one battery charge and can recharge at 250 kilometers per hour, good for the turnaround times. Even if you don’t look at the transport colossus, the transporter with a loading volume of almost 17,000 liters is on the same GM Ultium platform as the Cadillac Lyriq.

It is manufactured in the Canadian CAMI plant. Technical highlight is the Bright Drop software platform, which optimizes business and fleet operations by offering customers the ability to see real-time location data of their vehicles, monitor battery status, execute remote commands, manage charging and over -Get the air updates.

Ford recently presented its Transit, one of the most successful vans in Europe, as an electric vehicle. In addition, the car manufacturer from Dearborn / Michigan, together with the parcel service Hermes, is also testing the combination with pedestrian couriers in order to make the delivery of parcels faster and more sustainable. The handover of shipments from the delivery vehicles to foot couriers is coordinated via MoDe:Link – a cloud-based routing and logistics software developed by Ford.

Safe stopping of the vehicle and an optimal handover point to the respective pedestrian couriers are guaranteed in order to save you unnecessarily long distances to the delivery address. “We are examining new initiatives to reduce emissions from deliveries over the last mile. This is also our response to the growing number of environmental zones in cities and new legislation in many municipalities. The tried-and-tested operating model can be easily expanded if necessary to, on the one hand, meet demand while creating new jobs for couriers who no longer need to drive or own a vehicle,” says Carl Lyon, Chief Operating Officer of Hermes UK.


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