German supplier ZF and Aachen-based startup e.Go Mobile, that also worked with DP/DHL on the StreetScooter, have set up their planned joint venture e.Go Moove to produce electric vans from 2019. ZF is careful not to rival existing clients but is hoping for fast synergies and autonomous tech trials.
The step had been anticipated as ZF and e.Go Mobile had teamed up last year already, when they unveiled a prototype of their “people and cargo mover” on campus at the RWTH in Aachen.
The cooperation has now taken the form of a joint venture called e.Go Moove that will start building their first electric van from 2019. ZF that holds 40 percent, expects five-digit volumes for the initial annual production of the e.Go Mover vehicle and the supplier projects that demand will reach approximately one million in the next five to seven years.
The e.GO Mover serves for deliveries but can transform into a minibus for up to 15 people and will eventually drive autonomously.
Says CEO Wolf-Henning Scheider: “The e.GO Mover is the first production-ready vehicle featuring ZF systems which provides an autonomous mobility concept for cities.”
Moreover, for ZF teaming up with a startup means agility and the supplier is careful not to appear as a competitor to their traditional automotive customers but rather as wanting to implement new technologies fast.
Very fast, according to e.GO Mobile CEO Guenther Schuh who said they are currently building a second factory in Aachen “in an almost Chinese speed of 15 months”.
ZF’s trust in e.GO Mobile stands on solid grounds. The small company recently started serial production of its electric car e.Go Life supported by Bosch and came up with the initial StreetScooter that Deutsche Post DHL so successfully commercialised.
Apart from ZF, its subsidiary NDivia is joining the team and e.GO Moove will have their headquarters in Aachen. Production of the electric van is to start in 2019 with an initial run of 400, increasing to 2,500 to 3,500 in 2020 and then 15,000 in 2021.