The online Die Welt/N24 here reports on how the German Post, Deutsche Post, put electric vehicles dubbed Streetscooters” into action last summer with the high hopes of making mail delivery greener.
Months later it is emerging that things are not working out as hoped, as a myriad of technical problems have emerged. With winter weather in full swing, postal workers are finding out that they have to choose between turning on the heater are becoming stranded in the middle of the route because the vehicle’s battery has lost its charge, Die Welt/N24 reports.
The electric delivery vehicles are manufactured by StreetScooter GmbH, a subsidiary of Deutsche Port DHL Group since 2014. The company boasts at its website that it used “pioneering approaches” in development and production that allowed them to present our first electric vehicle at IAA 2011 “after just 18 months of development”.
Fear of not getting back
That fast track development appears to have come at a high cost, as Deutsche Post drivers complain that the vehicles normally does not get much further than 70 km, and no where hear the 100 km range that is pitched. “Again and again the driver is forced to decide when to turn around in order to make it back,” reports Die Welt/N24.
Currently the German postal giant has some 5000 Streetscooters on the road with another 25,000 scheduled to be added to the fleet soon.
Potential death trap?
The Street scooter is also very lightly built, and thus many drivers fear getting into an accident. “In many cases, the vehicle’s hood popped open while on route,” reports Die Welt/N24. Also drivers are reported to be more focused on getting back than they are on delivering the parcels.
DieWelt/N24 also reports that complaints by delivery drivers have been ignored and no improvements have been implemented, instead the problems are blamed on driver “operating faults”.
Moreover, according to Die Welt/N24: “Internal documents concerning suggestions for improvement are confidential. Anyone who makes public complaints, risks employment legal action and including an official warning.”
Green commercial utility vehicles, even on a tiny scale, obviously still have a long way to go, and so far appear suitable only for limited application – like on parks and golf courses.