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German electric vehicle automaker sees ‘huge market opportunity’ in the U.S.

Deutsche Post-owned EV major StreetScooter has announced plans to expand to the U.S. market, commencing pilot tests early next year with DHL Express (Photo: StreetScooter)

Deutsche Post-owned electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer StreetScooter has announced that the company will be expanding into the U.S., citing a huge market opportunity across the horizon. To help invigorate the North American expansion, the company has brought on two C-level executives with extensive experience within the automotive industry, who StreetScooter hopes will bolster its sales and technology segments. 

Ex-Tesla director Peter Bardenfleth-Hansen will assume the position of Chief Growth Officer at StreetScooter and will be responsible for ramping up international sales. Ulrich Stuhec, a former Ford manager, will take up the role of Chief Technical Officer while current CTO Fabian Schmitt will move into a new role within the company. 

StreetScooter will now begin pilot tests with DHL Express in the U.S. and will continue to expand from there. Joerg Sommer, the CEO of StreetScooter, explained that the company is increasingly looking to internationalize its business, and finds the U.S. market exciting as it witnesses substantial investment in the EV space. 

“We are currently evaluating potential production partners for the U.S. We will make an announcement once partnerships have been finalized,” said Sommer. “Like we did in Japan, we plan to enter the U.S. market once we have customer contracts signed. We will launch pilot programs in the U.S. next year with DHL Express, and will continue to expand from there.”

Geographic expansion apart, StreetScooter is aligning itself towards becoming a global energy and logistics platform for the last-mile rather than stay shuttered within the EV manufacturing niche. True to this, StreetScooter has electrified more than 700 depots and has installed more than 11,000 charging points for small and large fleet operators. 

On-demand ‘anything’ has been a trend that has proven disruptive in the logistics space, ever since the advent of Uber with its on-demand cab-hailing and the now-pervasive ‘gig economy.’ StreetScooter is attempting something similar by providing energy-as-a-service, wherein clients can configure platform subscriptions per vehicle for their last-mile energy and logistics needs.

The company also plans to provide clients with EV fleets, which will act as decentralized networks of ‘batteries on wheels’ helping facilitate the trade of goods and energy within neighborhoods. The fleets are equipped with fleet intelligence software to significantly reduce the total cost of ownership and have their software and infrastructure constantly updated – for instance, with bi-directional charging and decentralized grid software. 

Following its announcement about entering the U.S. market, StreetScooter has unveiled its next generation of vehicles that come with a redesigned box body that promises a payload that is over a ton larger and can accommodate up to four more euro pallets. 

“The new versions of the WORK and WORK L vehicle models can reach a top speed of 120kmph (~75 mph). They also offer additional features that make the new models safer, more comfortable and convenient for everyday work on the job,” said Sommer. “The features include in-vehicle automatic emergency call system, acoustic vehicle alerting system, keyless entry and start, automatic climate control system, and in general, more optimum use of space inside the vehicle.”

Currently, StreetScooter is one of the market leaders in Europe in the EV space, with more than 12,000 vehicles in daily use clocking over 100 million kilometers (~62 million miles) and eliminating 36,000 tons of CO2 in the process.