StreetScooter builds fuel-cell vans for DHL and Innogy
Electric vans are excellent for local distribution, but fail as a solution for long-distance transport. Like many others, Deutsche Post DHL Group believes that hydrogen-based fuel cell vehicles are the best option in the latter case. That is why it has ordered its subsidiary StreetScooter to build about 100 Work L vans with a hydrogen power plant by 2020.
The fuel cell Work L will be used by DHL Express, which delivers and collects time-critical and high-quality shipments worldwide. They currently operate about 7,000 own vehicles in Europe and more than 2,500 vehicles from subcontractors in Germany. The daily distances vary up to a maximum of 300 kilometers.
"The fuel cell is lighter than a battery pack and more flexible than an overhead line," told Achim Jüchter, Head of Range Extender Systems at StreetScooter in an interview with Auto, Motor & Sport. The Work L will still carry a battery, though, just like the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell. A total range of 540 km is to be expected.
Westnetz also on board
The energy network operator Westnetz, a subsidiary of Innogy, wants to gradually start using over 300 StreetScooters by 2022, the same German auto magazine reports. It won’t be buying it off the shelf, though. Westnetz and StreetScooter will co-develop a van that is adapted to the requirements of a service vehicle. That means more performance and a greater range.
Indeed, StreetScooter will also integrate a fuel cell in their Work model for Westnetz, which wants to use it for maintenance and the extension of its distribution network. "The vehicles need to be a workshop, a warehouse and an office all in one," says Jürgen Grönner, Managing Director at Westnetz.
"Co-development with our customers to adapt the vehicles to the industry-specific needs while remaining cost-competitive is part of our concept," says Achim Kampker, CEO of Streetscooter. "We look closely at the customer's operational processes and then jointly develop a StreetScooter as a tailor-made tool for their needs."
Picture copyright: StreetScooter, 2018