German Post Electric Delivery Vehicles Falter, “Lose Power Mid Delivery Route”

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.

18 responses to “German Post Electric Delivery Vehicles Falter, “Lose Power Mid Delivery Route””

  1. zzy

    Wonderful! A good German solution will be to suspend mail delivery services and have the public transport themselves to the post office to pick up their mail and packages! Problem solved!

    Then the post office can show off their new “Green” vehicles which don’t pollute or use ANY electricity! It’s a WIN-WIN!!!

  2. oebele bruinsma

    Every battery type performs less under wintery conditions. In view of the slow developments in battery technology the German Post will have to live with that fact.

  3. AlecM

    To be expected. EV energy consumption is 27% to 40% higher than a conventional IC motor: it’s another green confidence trick designed to mug the poor, thereby to enrich those whose purpose is to be greenie milch cows. Such people are intrinsically evil.

  4. RAH

    Even gas powered golf carts are much superior to electric ones from what I’ve seen and experienced. haven’t noticed electric powered utility vehicles or ATV sales taking off either.

  5. CraigAustin

    Maybe they can tow a reliable diesel generator? Perhaps a ridiculous idea but, these folks will fall for anything, even wind turbines!

    1. RAH

      Ha! Why not Gas for the generator?

      Like this:

      I know it says diesel but it is actually a gasoline driven generator.

  6. David

    When the officials in countries who are pushing this “green” technology start deploying battery powered electric ambulances and police vehicles and withdraw the petrol and diesel ones, we’ll know it’s reliable technology.

    Till then it’s just a hobby for the socialist virtue signallers who like new toys.

  7. Bitter&twisted

    Who in their right mind would be a crash-test dummy for an EV?
    No one unless forced to.

  8. Indur Goklany

    In the 1950s and 1960s, growing up in India, we used to believe Germany was the epitome of Engineering Excellence. Well, what with going all-in on solar and wind, Energiewende, and now this, Germany is now more accurately viewed as the epitome of Engineering Stupidity. [Sorry for this harsh characterization, but I couldn’t come up with an appropriate euphemism. I can’t believe Angela Merkel was ever a scientist. I guess it would have been better for Germany if she had stayed a “scientist” rather than a failed leader of a once-great country!]

  9. Steve

    I have, on only one occasion, lost power mid delivery root.

  10. Green Sand

    iI have spent some time with the guy charged (no pun)with assessing the use of EVs for the UK Royal Mail, twas 2 years ago and the simple answer was ‘neit’ and ‘neit’ for quite a long time!

  11. clipe

    “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”

    Amazing how renewable “stays these couriers”

  12. Steve

    How am I going to keep my beer cold when the temperature reached 47.3 Degs C
    on the outskirts of Sydney today?
    Hottest its been for a hundred years.!!
    I mean that’s really hot dude.
    … you mean it was that hot a hundred years ago?
    yeah man, why didn’t they do something about it? ..
    you mean like control the earth’s temperature with a knob like in a fridge or something? ….
    yeah man like with a knob ya KNOB !!

  13. Reasonable Skeptic

    Clearly the solution is to create a fleet of battery delivery EVs, this way the scooter fleet can get charges while still able to meet their rigorous deliver route times.

    This will obviously be a plus for industry and job creation.

    1. yonason (from my cell phone)

      Great opportunity for a AAA-like service industry; pre-charged batteries on demand? I can’t see any other option to guarantee route completion with return to base.

  14. AndyG55

    OT, Josh does it again 🙂

    Luv that guy’s work !!!

  15. Alfred (Melbourne)

    In the 1960’s, I was a kid and lived sometimes in Switzerland. Their post office had electric aluminium carts with tyres. The postman walked in front and held down a level to get the cart to follow him at his walking pace.

    I thought it was a great idea as the van could carry quite a lot of boxes and mail – much more than the British postman’s leather satchel could carry at that time. Additionally, since the postman was not carrying anything, he could walk faster and further.

    It seems they are still using similar carts. Here is what the modern version looks like. It seems the postman/postwoman follows the cart. That would seem to me to be a regressive step as he/she would have to steer it:

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