Source: Team Sohman
For a short distance travel, electric vans are a great choice. But when it comes to a long-distance travel, electric vans are not unfeasible. A hydrogen-based fuel cell is an excellent choice for the latter case. Hence, like many others, Deutsche Post DHL Group trusts that the green technology can save them. So, they have ordered StreetScooter, a subsidiary of Deutsche Post DHL Group to make around 100 Work L vans with a hydrogen power plant by 2020.
The Work L with fuel cell technology will be used by DHL Express to distribute and collect time-sensitive and high-quality deliveries across the globe. At present, the DHL Company operates 7000 own vehicles in Europe and more than 2500 vehicles by subcontract in Germany. The vehicles travel a varying distance of up to 300 KM per day.
Achim Jüchter, Head of Range Extender Systems at StreetScooter said in an interview with Auto, Motor & Sports Magazine that the fuel cell is lighter than a battery pack and are more flexible than an overhead line. Just like the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell, the Work L will also include a battery in their skeleton. Maximum of 540 KM is expected in Work L.
Westnetz, the energy network operator and a subsidiary of Innogy is also planning to gradually use around 300 StreetScooters by 2022 as per the reports of Auto, Motor & Sports auto magazine. The energy operator does not want to buy off the shelf. Westnetz will co-develop the van with StreetScooter. The van will be able to adapt to the needs of a service vehicle by providing more efficiency and a greater range.
StreetScooter will be working on integrating fuel cell in their Work model for Westnetz. The vehicle will be used by Westnetz for maintenance and the extension of its distribution network. Jürgen Grönner, the Managing Director of Westnetz said, “The vehicles need to be a workshop, a warehouse and an office all in one (source1).”
Achim Kampker, CEO of Streetscooter said, “Co-development with our customers to adapt the vehicles to the industry-specific needs while remaining cost-competitive is part of our concept. We look closely at the customer’s operational processes and then jointly develop a StreetScooter as a tailor-made tool for their needs (source2).”
The fuel cell technology is slowly spreading in many fields. Hence, a new evolution with clean technology is expected to dominate the automobile industry in the near future.