Volkswagen hands over its largest ID. Buzz fleet to date to Helion
It was also the biggest fleet delivery for VW Commercial Vehicles so far. Together with fleet provider Movon, they handed over the ID. Buzz Cargo vans at Helion’s Attisholz site in the canton of Solothurn.
Helion describes the vehicle handover as “an event with international appeal” in the press statement. The company adds that it was setting a good example and showing “that the switch to e-mobility is feasible and makes economic sense for SMEs and, in particular, craft businesses”.
The company also points out that despite the increasing electrification of passenger cars, there are significant concerns among commercial vehicle fleets and “especially among trade businesses” about whether daily operations with electric vehicles can work. Therefore, Helion set up an “operational support group” before the changeover, which extensively tested the vans and identified potential challenges in advance.
Two lessons learned from the test phase: with an average operating radius of around 100 kilometres, the public charging network – thanks in part to the range of the ID. Buzz Cargo – is only used in exceptional cases. This leads to point two: Helion has invested in charging infrastructure and massively expanded it at all branches. “Helionaut:innen” – as Helion calls its own fitters – who can charge at home and were supported by their employer in purchasing a wall box.
However, Helion did not buy the vehicles. To avoid the high initial investment, the company got the ID. Buzz Cargo via the full-service leasing from Movon. “Leasing guarantees better planning and cost control,” says Helion. This means that – “especially with a high annual kilometre performance” – the new commercial EV fleet should pay for itself after around one year compared to a fossil fuel fleet.
“By converting our commercial vehicle fleet to electric, we are also advancing the energy transition within the company. We Helionaut:innen will overcome the challenges together,” says Noah Heynen, CEO of Helion. “From today, around 100 of our fitters from all over Switzerland will be on the road in electric vehicles, acting as ambassadors for our vision and the energy transition.”
Incidentally, the handover event in Switzerland had a (small) international dimension. Lars Krause, Board Member for Sales and Marketing at VW Commercial Vehicles, travelled to Switzerland from Hanover, Germany. “We are delighted that Helion has chosen the ID. Buzz Cargo as a service vehicle and that it will operate its fleet CO₂-neutrally with solar power produced in-house,” says Krause. “The ID. Buzz stands for sustainable mobility like no other commercial vehicle. Together with our partners, we are driving forward the energy transition in the commercial vehicle sector.”
With 100 vehicles, the Helion fleet is also one of the largest ID. Buzz fleets in the world. In November 2023, another major customer, the Irish postal service, added 45 VW ID. Buzz Cargo vans. The delivery turned An Post into the largest EV fleet operator in Ireland, with a total of about 1,000 electric vehicles.
The ID. Buzz Cargo offers up to 3.9 cubic meters of cargo space, and a maximum of 2.20 meters of long items can be loaded. The van fits up to two Euro pallets without interior fittings. With a maximum payload of 647 kilograms, the ID. Buzz Cargo is at the lower end of the van segment.
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.
helion.ch (in German)