DHL Sources BMW i3 Battery Modules For Electric Delivery Trucks
Ditching internal combustion to go the last mile on electronsby Jonathan Lopez, on
Vehicular electrification is expanding in a big way, going from eco-conscious mpg bubbles, to luxury sedans, to super sports cars, and now, to the world of freight transportation as well. As such, delivery giant DHL hopes to add a dash of EV efficiency to its expansive fleet of vans and trucks, and BMW will provide the parts necessary with components sourced from the i3.
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DHL's strategy will include both the purchase of new EVs, and the creation of its own vehicles as well
Based out of Bonn, Germany, DHL Express is the largest logistics company in the world, delivering packages globally thanks to its vast collection of airplanes, ships, and ground transport. Now, the company is looking to the future, and sees EVs as the way forward for its various four-wheeled delivery vehicles.
DHL’s strategy will include both the purchase of new EVs, and the creation of its own vehicles as well. To that end, DHL purchased Streetscooter in December of 2014. Streetscooter is a German-based producer of electric vehicles, and as the company ramps up production to meet DHL’s electrification goals, it was just announced that BMW will provide the required battery modules for the new fleet, sourcing parts developed for its i3 city cruiser to do so.
“The BMW i3 high-voltage modules are exemplary for extraordinary reliability and performance in the car sector. They enable us to use state-of-the-art electric drive technology and integrated energy management even in demanding supply and distribution traffic,” said Achim Kampker, CEO at Streetscooter GmbH.
The batteries are made up of 8 modules at 12 cells a pop, offering a 33-kWh capacity. Range is expected to be around 50 miles, but larger packs (the modular design allows packs up to 90-kWh) will allow up to 124 miles.
Elektrek is reporting that Torqeedo, an electric boat manufacturer, is also sourcing its battery components from BMW. The batteries are made up of 8 modules at 12 cells a pop, offering a 33-kWh capacity. Range is expected to be around 50 miles, but larger packs (the modular design allows packs up to 90-kWh) will allow up to 124 miles.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about DHL dabbling in eco-friendly, alternative transport solutions. For example, a small portion of its fleet already runs on compressed natural gas. Following its purchase by DHL, Streetscooter has produced roughly 2,000 EVs (as of the end of 2016). The goal is to eventually replace all 70,000 DHL ground fleet vehicles with Streetscooter alternatives.
The announcement of DHL’s collaboration with BMW follows the debut of the Tesla Semi back in November. DHL already has 10 examples of the new Tesla on order.
Which begs the question – with the expectation that electric vehicles will become even more entrenched in 2018 with regards to the passenger vehicle segment, how will the freight industry respond? We could very well be seeing a new trend emerging as EVs seep into every segment out there.
Read our full review on the 2018 BMW i3.