DHL has unveiled a new electric delivery vehicle which enables better range with a higher payload.
The logistics giant will work alongside automaker Ford and electric vehicle maker StreetScooter on the H2 Panel Van, with funding from the German government.
The vehicle offers a payload of 800kg with an added fuel cell offering a range of up to 500km.
The company has ordered 100 of the vehicles for the beginning of 2020, with no plans to sell them to third parties.
Andreas Scheuer, Germany’s federal minister of transport and digital infrastructure (BMVI), said: “Openness to new technologies is key to our overall strategy, which is why we’re also supporting the use of this battery electric vehicle with additional fuel cell capability.
“If we want to promote alternative drive systems for climate-friendly delivery operations, then we need to make sure these new vehicles are priced competitively and capable of good range.”
Markus Reckling, CEO DHL Express Germany, said: “With the H2 Panel Van, DHL Express becomes the first express provider to use a larger number of electric vehicles with fuel cells for last-mile logistics. This underscores our aspiration to be not only the fastest and most reliable provider on the market, but also the most climate friendly. The H2 Panel Van is another example of how Deutsche Post DHL Group is working towards its zero-emission goal for 2050.”
For Fabian Schmitt, chief technical officer at StreetScooter GmbH, the H2 has potential as a breakthrough solution. “We firmly believe that fuel cells will play an increasing role in electric-powered transport, since they can give battery electric vehicles the kind of range that is so important for so many customers.
“With the Panel Van, StreetScooter begins yet another chapter in its proud history of innovation and enters into a new growth phase.”