DHL Express and electric vehicle manufacturer StreetScooter have teamed up to develop a new electric van.

The new “H2 Panel Van” will be the first standard 4.25 tonne electric van, powered by a fuel cell that provides additional power during the journey, allowing it to reach ranges of up to 500 kilometres.

As a first step, DHL Express has ordered 100 of these fuel cell vehicles, which will be delivered in 2020 and completed in 2021.

Andreas Scheuer, Federal Minister for Transport and Digital Infrastructure: “We still need the technology-open approach, which is why we are also promoting the procurement of the new e-van with fuel cell because it is only with long ranges and marketable prices that we will be able to make climate-friendly deliveries alternative drives are on the way.”

Markus Reckling, DHL Express Germany’s CEO, said: “With the H2 Panel Van, DHL Express will be the first express service provider to use electric fuel cell trucks for its last-mile logistics to a greater extent, underscoring our aspiration, not just the fastest and most economical The H2 Panel Van is another example of how Deutsche Post DHL Group aims to achieve its zero-emissions target by 2050.”

Fabian Schmitt, Chief Technical Officer of StreetScooter GmbH, emphasises: “We are convinced that the fuel cell is becoming an increasingly important part of the electromobility market, enabling it to increase the range of vehicles that are essential for many customers StreetScooter opens another chapter in its history of innovation and enters a new phase of growth.”

The H2 Panel Van is based on the StreetScooter WORK XL parcel transporter already used by DHL Paket. However, instead of the box body, it will have a typical box body for express delivery. This allows a loading volume of more than 10 cubic meters (equivalent to about 100 express parcels).

The payload is more than 800 kilograms, so the electric transporter achieves a permissible total weight of 4.25 tons. Due to the exemption for battery electric light commercial vehicles valid in Germany also holders of a driving license of the class B may drive this vehicle. DHL Express will use the new Transporter exclusively for the time being, but a sale to third parties outside the Deutsche Post DHL Group is currently not planned.

Like its big brother WORK XL, the H2 Panel Van will be realised in collaboration with Ford. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure under the National Innovation Program Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP II).

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