StreetScooter: unprofitable project Deutsche Post goes to conquer the United StatesDecember 1, 2019
One of the first electric car startups from Germany is looking for opportunities to expand business outside Europe, in which StreetScooter, it seems, does not need anyone except the Deutsche Post. Now all the company’s hope is in China, where it recently entered into a partnership with Chery, and the United States, which will begin trial deliveries of electric trucks in the spring of next year.
The StreetScooter project was created in 2010 by two German enthusiasts, Achim Kampker and Gunter Schuch, with the support of the Rhenish-Westphalian Technical University of Aachen. The founders wanted to create an inexpensive universal electric car for traveling over short distances. As a result, they made a delivery electric truck, later called Work, and in 2014 managed to make contact for its delivery to various municipal structures of his native Aachen (a city in Germany). The production was organized there, at the former Waggonfabrik Talbot factory, which produced railway wagons.
In the same 2014, the startup attracted the attention of the Deutsche Post (German postal company), already then very concerned about climate change and global warming. The management of the Deutsche Post set out to switch their fleet to electric traction in order to reduce CO2 emissions (supporters of the theory of global warming believe that this gas is its cause), and without thinking twice, bought the company StreetScooter.
The Deutsche Post planned to produce 10 thousand StreetScooter Work trucks a year, and then expand the lineup with an inexpensive urban electric car, but the development of the green idea in Europe did not happen as fast as expected. At the moment, the total number of trucks produced by StreetScooter, according to Reuters, is about 12 thousand. 10 thousand of them are in the possession of the Deutsche Post and are engaged in the delivery of parcels, the remaining copies were sold to third-party customers. Meanwhile, with reliable expansion in demand, StreetScooter opened a second factory in Düren (Germany) last spring. At the same time, a batch of 2500 Ford Transit vans electrified by StreetScooter, was intended exclusively for domestic consumption by the Deutsche Post.
Now only the Work family is presented on the official StreetScooter website in the form of a chassis with a cab (this version is called Pure) and box vans. Two lengths are available: standard (overall length 4682-4695 mm, load capacity 1234 kg) and elongated L (overall length 5782-5809 mm, load capacity 1220 kg). A single electric motor (92 hp, 205 Nm), coupled with a single-stage gearbox, rotates the front wheels. The capacity of a lithium-ion battery is 40-43.4 kWh, depending on version. The power reserve on one charge is about 200 km. The maximum speed is 120 km / h. Price – from 38,450 euros to 47,650 euros. The design is purely utilitarian, and it is especially felt inside the cabin.
There are no new models in the StreetScooter line yet – the Deutsche Post, with all its commitment to the green idea, is in no hurry to invest in a subsidiary, and at the end of this summer began to look for partners and even potential buyers for it. In September, a joint venture was established with the Chinese company Chery in exchange for EUR 500 million of investments. By 2021, freshly baked partners intend to build StreetScooter electric vehicles at a site in China with a capacity of 100 thousand cars per year. But against the backdrop of a sharp drop in sales of electric vehicles in China this year, it is hard to believe in the success of the joint venture. In October, it became known that by the end of the year, StreetScooter’s losses would amount to tens of millions of euros …
Business media reported this week that StreetScooter has spearheaded skiing in America. The local delivery services, like the Deutsche Post, are now massively changing to electric cars. For example, Amazon ordered Rivian startup in September as many as 100 thousand electric vans! For StreetScooter, such an order would be a real salvation, and in the spring of this year, the first batch of German electric trucks in the L-version will go to plow the west and east coast of the United States – this will be, so to speak, a test-exploratory operation. Full access to the American market is scheduled for 2022-2023. By that time, however, about a dozen models of electric pickups from local startups and already established manufacturers like Tesla, Ford and General Motors will enter the US market. It is unlikely that the StreetScooter trucks with their primitive design and mediocre technical characteristics will find any worthy place in this honest company.
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