Electric mail deliveries

#tkgoesIAA | Deutsche Post uses an electric vehicle to deliver its letters and parcels. What makes the vehicle special is that the company also manufactures it – with support from thyssenkrupp.

The total permissible weight of a fully laden StreetScooter is 2,130 kilograms. An exception was made for this photo of Achim Kampker (left) and Andreas Breidenbach sitting on the roof.

The StreetScooter puts Deutsche Post at the forefront of e-mobility. Achim Kampker, former professor at Aachen University of Technology (RWTH), developed the prototype for an electric van as part of his research work there. This StreetScooter could revolutionize parcel delivery in Germany and soon maybe even worldwide.

thyssenkrupp has been on board as a strategic development partner since 2010. The Components Technology and Steel business areas are supporting the project by supplying materials and components. “We have focused on affordable lightweight construction and designed a steel body structure with plastic outer paneling,” says Andreas Breidenbach from the Technology and Innovation department at Steel.

Mass production: Up to 10,000 electric vans come off the production line in Aachen every year.

Steel and e-mobility belong together

“It was a major challenge,” says Breidenbach, “because the chassis had to protect not only the driver and passengers, but also the battery of the electrical vehicle. The new solutions we’ve developed have demonstrated that our steel has a place in e-mobility.”

The same goes for the shock absorbers from thyssenkrupp Bilstein: The total permissible weight of a fully laden StreetScooter is 2,130 kilograms. At the end of a long day of deliveries, the weight may be reduced by more than half a ton. Ensuring balanced damping characteristics despite these weight differences calls for very careful tuning.

Optimistic: Achim Kampker (left) and Andreas Breidenbach are convinced that the StreetScooter concept will catch on.

From a start-up to part of a global Group

The first prototype was so attractive that Deutsche Post took note. “At the time, they were looking for an affordable and functional electrical delivery van,” says Achim Kampker. The StreetScooter model was a perfect fit for the postal service’s concept, and so the package carrier acquired the startup company and its Managing Director Achim Kampker in 2014, thereby becoming an automotive manufacturer.

“We wanted to prove that e-mobility can be affordable in small quantities and doesn’t require long development times.”

ACHIM KAMPKER, Managing Director StreetScooter GmbH

By 2016 there were already 2,000 emission-free StreetScooters on the streets of Germany – with lightweight elements from Steel and shock absorbers from Bilstein. The signs clearly point to growth. In the long term all 45,000 vehicles in the postal service fleet will be replaced. Interested companies from Germany and abroad also contact Achim Kampker daily. “Demand is incredibly high,” he says. “Cars with internal combustion engines will be phased out sooner than the experts currently expect.” And thyssenkrupp is supplying the basis for the e-revolution on the roads.