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Deutsche Post commits $552 million to build up to 100,000 StreetScooter units per year

Deutsche Post (DP) has committed €500 million ($552 million) to the production of light cargo electric vehicles and micro e-mobility units.

DP subsidiary StreetScooter and Chinese automobile manufacturer Chery Holding Group signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) Sept. 6 to begin production, sourcing and development of last-mile electric light commercial vehicles (eLCV) in China.

Mass production is scheduled to begin in 2021 with production capacities of up to 100,000 electric vehicles per year.

The joint venture also aims to establish a location for research and development in China, focusing on “developing eLCV components, technology, vehicle architecture and design, autonomous logistics and energy solutions,” said a joint statement.

DP expects the entry of its eLCVs into the Chinese market to be “gradual,” with additional markets also being evaluated.

“Next year we are also planning initial pilot projects in the USA, especially on the West and East coasts, with the aim of establishing local production facilities there especially for the U.S. market,” a DP DHL Group representative told FreightWaves.

“At present, however, it is too early to talk about concrete details and partnerships. The focus is first and foremost on the expansion in China.”

The Chinese market for light commercial vehicles is expected to reach 2.3 million trucks by 2025, of which more than 900,000 are forecast to be electric, according to DP DHL. “Such rapid growth will make China the largest market in the world for electric vehicles of this kind, followed by Europe and the USA,” said a statement.

“China is currently the market with the greatest potential for light electrically powered commercial vehicles,” Joerg Sommer, CEO of Germany-based StreetScooter, told FreightWaves.

“In Chery, we have found an excellent partner to implement our idea of environmentally friendly transport in China. The planned comprehensive cooperation from production and development to sales and service will not only contribute to lower emissions in China but will also strengthen the economy and create jobs,” Sommer said.

StreetScooter was fully acquired by Deutsche Post DHL Group in 2014 and now has more than 12,000 vehicles in daily use.

“Together with Chery, we want to continue the success story of StreetScooter in China now,” added Sommer. “Every 10th electric vehicle registered in Germany today is a StreetScooter, and with a strong partner like Chery, we will also make a noticeable contribution to lower traffic-based emissions in China with modern commercial vehicles.”