Deutsche Post DHL is road testing 12 new Renault Kangoo Z.E. electric vehicles for combined deliveries. As part of the “E-mobility in commuter traffic” pilot project, the vehicles will transport letters and small packages in the Rhine-Ruhr area until the end of 2011. By using these electric vehicles, Deutsche Post DHL and the car maker Renault are trialing the operational suitability of electric vehicles for commercial fleet operations.
RWE Effizienz GmbH is responsible for supplying vehicle power via electric charging points. The focus is particularly on battery development, road handling and the safety of the virtually silent vehicles, especially in inner city areas and pedestrian zones. For combined transport, the vehicles must for example be able to cope with heavy stop-start traffic and achieve a given range.
“Due to its electric drive train, the Renault Kangoo Z.E. is quiet and fuel-free, and also 100 percent CO2 neutral as it uses green power. This will help reduce air and noise pollution in inner city areas and pedestrian zones. The joint pilot project with Renault is an important part of our Group-wide GoGreen environmental protection program, which includes the practical testing and use of alternative vehicles,” says Joachim Wessels, Member of the Mail Divisional Board at Deutsche Post DHL.
Improving CO2 efficiency
Deutsche Post DHL was the first global logistics provider to set itself a specific climate protection target. Under the company’s GoGreen program the aim to improve CO2 efficiency by 30% by 2020 compared with 2007 – amongst other things as a result of the more efficient management of its traffic flows, the modernization of its transport fleet and the use of renewable energy sources.
The Renault vehicles are powered by a fully electric drive train with Li-Ion batteries. The range of up to 160 kilometers for a fully loaded vehicle is sufficient for use as a combined delivery vehicle. At the delivery centers in the Rhine-Ruhr area, charging stations have been installed where the batteries can be recharged overnight.
“The range of our compact Kangoo Z.E. electric transporter is perfectly suited to Deutsche Post DHL’s operational range. We are very pleased that as a result of this collaboration, many people in the Rhineland and the Ruhr area will see for themselves how well suited to everyday use electric mobility already is,” says Beatrice Degand, Electric Vehicle Project Manager at Renault Deutschland AG.
Everyday use of electric vehicles
As well as Renault and Deutsche Post DHL, RWE is also involved in the project and will take care of energy supply across all the trial areas. Dr. Stephan Hell from the E-Mobility Development division at RWE Effizienz GmbH says: “Today we have already set up a network of about 340 public electric charging points together with our partners in North Rhine Westphalia. That is a good infrastructure for the everyday use of electric vehicles, and an important pre-requisite for their acceptance.”
Green technologies are a vital element of CO2 efficient logistics. Alongside Renault, Deutsche Post DHL is also collaborating with various car makers on a series of tests, in order to gain important experience of using renewable fuels and alternative vehicle drive trains by using the vehicles in everyday operations. Today, Deutsche Post DHL is already operating around 3,000 vehicles with hybrid or electric drive trains, as well as alternative fuels and engine-specific electronic and aerodynamic modifications. Its activities in the area of electric mobility should in the medium term help lead to electric vehicles becoming production-ready in the small transporter and transporter commercial vehicle classes.