Break­through elec­tric van deal

New Zealand Truck & Driver - - Contents -

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

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