European postal service Deutsche Post has plans to electrify a fleet of 2,500 vehicles by the end of 2018 in partnership with Ford Motor Co.’s German manufacturing arm Ford-Werke.
The courier giant will delve into the project through its subsidiary and former start-up StreetScooter, which is an electric vehicle manufacturer based in Aachen, Germany.
StreetScooter will equip Ford’s Transit chassis with a battery-electric drive train. The cargo van will be fitted with a special body based on Deutsche Post specifications.
“I consider this partnership another important boost for electromobility in Germany,” said Jürgen Gerdes, a member of Deutsche Post’s board.
Ford is also aligned with the green initiative.
“E-Mobility and innovative traffic solutions for urban areas are key focuses for us as we transform our business to meet future challenges,” said Steven Armstrong, who oversees Europe, Middle East and Africa for Ford.
Ford’s international network also bodes well for the viability of the partnership, Armstrong said.
This is not Ford’s first overseas dabbling in electrified Transits. This fall the company will start testing 20 plug-in hybrid cargo vans in partnership with Transport for London, the city transit agency, and a variety of private fleets.
The start of production for the large StreetScooter van is slated for July 2017. The manufacturer will add significant capacity to its existing footprint to support the initiative.
StreetScooter is already operating 2,500 emissions-free small vans for Deutsche Post throughout Germany and plans to expand to 20,000 by the end of this year. In 2014, Deutsche acquired StreetScooter as part of an environmental protection plan.