StreetScooter plans to enter US market in 2020
Deutsche Post/DHL will launch the StreetScooter Work L electric delivery van in two US cities from spring 2020. It is still unclear exactly which these are. According to CTO Ulrich Stuhec, StreetScooter’s EVs could be established on a large scale in the USA in 2022 or 2023.
The DHL subsidiary plans to launch the electric vehicles on the US market at two opposing locations: in a city on the east coast and another on the west coast. That’s all the company has revealed so far.
A little more is known about the planned market launch in China. There, a joint venture with cooperation partner Chery is to set up a local production facility. Company boss Jörg Sommer estimates the market potential there to be 2.3 million electric delivery vans by 2025. The letter of intent between StreetScooter and Chery, signed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a trip to China in September, provides for gradual entry into the Chinese market. The target for 2021 is series production with capacities of up to 100,000 electric vehicles per year. Work L, the newest version of which was recently introduced, also serves as an entry-level model in China.
But back to the USA again. StreetScooter will first have to make a name for itself because the local delivery companies are already experimenting with electrified fleet cars. The American industry giant UPS currently has around 1,000 electrified delivery vans, while its competitor FedEx is also aiming to use 1,000 electric vehicles from the Chinese manufacturer Chanje in California. And online giant Amazon recently ordered 100,000 electric delivery vans in the USA – from the US start-up Rivian.
Although Stuhec recently pointed out that they have the most experience on the road, “while others are still working on their prototypes”, it is also a fact that the company has hardly been able to convince major customers of its electric vehicle recently. The order for 500 vehicles placed in March by Japanese parcel delivery company Yamato is the last known large order (which could be increased to 4,000 units in October). Logistics companies like Hermes, on the other hand, are currently relying on the eVito from Mercedes, GLS is testing the use of MAN eTGE in Germany and Amazon is also using the eVito in Germany.
After all: Sommer recently told local media that he was in talks with “many large fleet operators in the USA and Europe”. StreetScooter is initially concentrating on parcel delivery fleets – including potential competitors of the parent company. However, the agreement of new major orders takes time: Sommer expects negotiation times of twelve to 18 months.
Outside Germany, StreetScooter has also delivered vans to Amsterdam and Vienna. A total of around 12,000 of the company’s electric vehicles are currently expected to be on the roads, about 10,000 of which will be in the service of DHL.