Skip to main content

DHL Streetscooter electric vans will make package delivery greener

Image used with permission by copyright holder

When Deutsche Post DHL Group decided to add electric delivery vans to its fleet, nothing suitable was available. So in 2014, DHL bought a company called Streetscooter, which makes electric vans. Now DHL is bringing those vans to the United States. Why should cars be the only vehicles getting electric powertrains?

Electric vans will be used in a U.S. pilot program for DHL’s package delivery service beginning in 2020, according to a company press release. DHL also intends to set up a production line in the U.S. The pilot program will use an updated model called the Work L, which greater cargo capacity than previous versions, and a faster charging system. It even has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Work L is a smaller van comparable to the Ford Transit Connect or Ram ProMaster City. DHL also previously partnered with Ford on an electric version of the automaker’s larger Transit van. Called the Work XL, it used a modular battery pack that allowed for a range of between 49 miles and 124 miles, according to the companies. However, no plans to bring the Work XL to the U.S. have been discussed.

DHL claims to have 12,000 electric delivery vehicles in daily service, with over 100 million kilometers (about 62 million miles) driven to date. In addition to building vans for DHL’s own fleet, Streetscooter sells them to other businesses. Streetscooter claims to have 13,500 charging stations at 700 depots owned by various firms, from large companies to small businesses. Range anxiety is less of an issue with commercial vans than it is with passenger cars because the vehicles travel on predictable routes that never take them far from a central depot.

Streetscooter isn’t the only company selling electric vans. Electric versions of the Nissan NV200 and Renault Kangoo are available in Europe alongside StreetScooter’s vans, while Mercedes-Benz has announced plans for an electric version of its Sprinter. In the U.S., Workhorse Group sells electric delivery vans that can be paired with drones, and startup Chanje has promised to join the fray with support from a Chinese manufacturer. Amazon recently made headlines when it ordered 100,000 electric vans from another startup, Rivian, but the company has yet to deliver a single vehicle to a customer.

Editors' Recommendations

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
Pros and cons of buying a used electric car
Front three-quarters view of a 2023 Kia EV6 GT in a desert setting.

Electric cars have come a long way over the past few years. Gone are the days when the thought of an electric car was a novelty — these days, EVs are common, (mostly) available, and for the most part, refined.

But they’re also still relatively expensive, especially for a good one. That’s exactly why you might be thinking about buying a used one.

Read more
How much does an electric car battery cost?
Two Electrify America Charging Stations.

Electric cars are often hailed as being cheaper to operate and repair than gas-powered cars. It makes sense — on the operation side, you only need to pay for electricity (not gasoline), and on the repair side, there’s no motor or transmission to deal with.

But electric cars have other costly repairs, and while in total they do generally cost less than repairs for gasoline cars, it’s worth knowing about the potential costs ahead of time. Perhaps the most obvious, and one of the most costly, has to do with an electric car’s battery. After all, while all cars have batteries, those in electric cars are far bigger and more advanced — and thus can cost quite a bit to replace.
How much does an electric car battery cost?

Read more
Mercedes is finally bringing an electric van to the U.S.
Front three quarter view of the 2024 Mercedes-Benz eSprinter electric van.

Mercedes-Benz might be known for luxury cars, but it also makes vans, and it's finally bringing an electric van to the United States.

Scheduled to start production this summer, the 2024 Mercedes-Benz eSprinter is an all-electric version of the Sprinter full-size cargo van that's already a favorite of delivery services like FedEx and Amazon, as well as camper van converters. While the automaker has been selling electric vans in Europe since 2010, the new eSprinter is the first one aimed at the U.S. market.

Read more