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Deutsche post DHL aims to be market leader in electromobility

Deutsche Post DHL says it wants to double production of its electric delivery vans, called "StreetScooters." The firm, which intends to electrify its entire fleet, is launching a second factory for these vehicles.

Deutsche Post DHL Group (DPDHL), the world's largest postal logistics and courier service, aims to double production of its electrically powered "StreetScooter" delivery vehicles by opening a second manufacturing plant in Germany.

"We intend to construct a second factory for the Streetscooter in North Rhine-Westphalia that will start production this year," Jueurgen Gerdes, the executive responsible for parcel deliveries, said in remarks published on Tuesday.

A central element of DPDHL's e-mobility strategy is that the company began to produce its own electric delivery vans. In 2014, DPDHL bought a startup called StreetScooter, which began life in 2010 as a research project launched by a duo of engineers connected to RWTH Aachen, a technical university in western Germany.

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StreetScooter worked with a variety of companies from the get-go in its effort to design urban delivery e-vehicles for short distances - including DPDHL. After DPDHL bought the startup, the research project morphed into a full-on vehicle production effort.

Driving electromobility

DPDHL currently has 2,500 StreetScooters operating in Germany and an additional 100 in the Netherlands. As of June 2016, DPDHL had a fleet of around 92,000 vehicles roaming the highways, streets and lanes of 220 countries and territories around the world.

The two plants will be capable of producing 20,000 electric vehicle units a year once fully operational, and the aim is to sell the vehicles to other logistics companies.

Gerdes threw down a challenge to traditional vehicle makers. "We will remain drivers of electromobility and aim to be market leaders in green logistics," he told the Rheinische Post newspaper.

He noted that artisans and delivery services were desperately looking for electric alternatives in the face of plans by urban authorities to curb vehicles emitting toxic gases.

Established German delivery vehicle makers Daimler and Volkswagen both have plans for electric vehicles.

sri/dk (dpa, Reuters)

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