Breakthrough electric van deal
A BREAKTHROUGH DEAL FOR ELECTRIC commercial vehicles will see German courier company Hermes electrify its entire eet.
In a “wide-ranging strategic partnership” with Mercedes-Benz Vans, Hermes will put 1500 Vito and Sprinter electric vans to work in urban areas across Germany by the end of 2020.
e companies are to start using battery-electric vans in the logistics provider’s normal operations in a pilot phase in Stuttgart and Hamburg early next year. e focus will be on the economy, sustainability and practicality of emission-free delivery vans when used for the last mile.
“Electric drive is a key technology for urban transport – especially in commercial use. Last-mile deliveries must become more e cient and – in speci c applications – emission-free,” says Mercedes-Benz Vans head Volker Mornhinweg.
“is is a speci c implementation of our plans for tailored industry solutions in co-operation with our customers.”
Hermes CEO Frank Rausch says: “Electric mobility plays a key role as part of our longterm strategy for climate and environmental protection. With this in mind, we are continuing along the path of sustainably renewing our eet of vehicles. e strategic partnership with Mercedes-Benz is another milestone in this process.”
e partners have set themselves the goal of improving e ciency, productivity and sustainability in parcel deliveries. is has been partially triggered by the rapid growth in online retailing and the resulting challenges for courier-express-parcel companies.
Another aim is to generate and implement ideas that improve service quality for the customers. With the help of quiet, locally emission-free vehicles, M-B Vans and Hermes “want to make a lasting contribution to optimising urban delivery transport.”
By 2025, Hermes plans to carry out deliveries in the inner-city areas of all major German cities completely free of emissions. And it plans to use only electricity from 100% regenerative energy sources to charge the electric vehicles’ batteries.
Mercedes-Benz Vans will develop system solutions in the vehicle and beyond that are optimally adapted for the speci c applications – connected services, for example, that ensure optimal route planning, using information on the vans’ batteries and remaining range. It will also contribute intelligent cargo-space solutions and innovative mobility services, including new kinds of leasing o ers and short-term rentals for Hermes’ contractual partners.
Merc and Hermes have a long history of partnering in the research and development of alternative drive systems, including testing in operation a hydrogen-powered van in the 1990s and a Sprinter with fuel-cell technology in 2001. In 2011, Hermes put to work the rst M-B series production electric vehicle, the Vito E-CELL.
It’s also currently testing ve battery-powered Fuso Canter E-CELL light-duty trucks in urban distribution transport.
Mercedes-Benz Vans is using the partnership to develop its adVANce strategic future initiative, in which it will be transformed from a pure vehicle manufacturer into “a supplier of customer-oriented holistic system solutions.”
It says it will invest up to 500 million euros by 2020 on the integration of various connectivity solutions in vans, innovative hardware solutions for the van sector, new mobility concepts for the needs-oriented transport of people and goods, and optimised electric-drive systems tailored to speci c applications.
In the strategic partnership with Hermes, it aims to prove its expertise in each area.
is electric Vision Van is a concept study for the future of urban deliveries, according to MercedesBenz. Meantime, it’s putting some of the Vision’s concepts into practice in its huge electric van deal