DHL tests Volkswagen’s Caddy blue-emotion electric vehicles

Deutsche Post DHL is testing ten new Volkswagen Caddy blue-emotion commercial vehicles on mail delivery routes. The electric urban delivery vehicles will be in operation from July to September 2011 in Potsdam, Germany, as well as from the delivery depot in Stahnsdorf, transporting mail and parcels. By testing the electric vehicles on delivery routes with a lot of stops, Deutsche Post DHL and the automobile manufacturer Volkswagen intend to examine how suitable electric vehicles are in commercial fleets. The fleet test is focusing on battery innovation, handling, range and safety of the nearly noiseless vehicles.

"Deploying the Caddy blue-e-motion in our everyday operations gives us important insights into the development of electric vehicles. By using electric-powered vehicles, we can deliver letters and parcels at low noise levels and without burning fuel. And by using electricity from renewable energy sources, we can make our delivery routes up to 100-percent carbon neutral. The environment is thus spared from additional air pollutants and noise. This is an important element of GoGreen, our group-wide environmental protection program. GoGreen is how we are taking action to reduce our emissions," said Uwe Brinks, member of the Mail Divisional Board responsible for operations.

Deutsche Post DHL was the first global logistics company to set itself a specific climate protection goal. GoGreen aims to improve the company’s carbon efficiency by 30 percent by the year 2020 based on 2007 levels – in part by more efficiently managing the flow of traffic, modernizing the vehicle fleet and by using renewable energies.

"The Caddy blue-e-motion is not only a sensible ecological alternative for deliveries in urban areas, but also pays off in terms of operating costs," said Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber, Speaker for the Board of Management of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, at today’s handover of the Caddy blue-e-motion to Deutsche Post DHL. "We measured the typical day-to-day operations of a Deutsche Post Caddy with a standard combustion engine. Our key customer Deutsche Post DHL has about 20,000 Caddy delivery vans deployed around the country. Our results indicated that 80 percent of these vehicles always travel the same route and that is not longer than 50 kilometers. Because these vehicles stop and start so much, they only reach an average speed of five kilometers per hour. With maximum load, the Caddy burns up to 35 liters of fuel for each 100 kilometers. When used for delivery, the vans typically burn about 10 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers. The electricity that a Caddy blue-e-motion consumes – converted to the equivalent fuel consumption – is 2 liters per 100 kilometers."

The Volkswagen Caddy blue-e-motion is powered by lithium ion batteries that have a capacity of 85 kW and a maximum speed of 120 km/h. The vehicle’s range is 110 kilometers and therefore well suited as a delivery vehicle. The payload of the Caddy blue-e-motion is about 230 kilograms less than a traditional Caddy (550 kilograms) due to the batteries housed under the floor, however the loading volume remains the same at 4.2 cubic meters. Charging stations have been installed at the mail depots where the vehicle batteries are recharged overnight.

The test is part of project "EmiL" funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature, Conservation and Nuclear Safety. This project is also part of a wider support program on electro mobility and is supported by 100 million by the Ministry.

Green technologies are essential for carbon-efficient logistics. Deutsche Post DHL is working with a number of vehicle manufactures in addition to Volkswagen in a series of tests on commercial vehicles in everyday operations in order to gain important insights into the use of renewable fuels and alternative vehicle drive systems. Today, Deutsche Post DHL has around 3,000 vehicles on the streets that use hybrid or electric drives, burn alternative fuels or have modified engine electronics and aerodynamic systems. The activities surrounding electric vehicles are intended in the medium term to help ready electric vehicles in the small and regular-sized delivery van commercial vehicle classes for mass production.

Deutsche Post DHL is the world’s leading postal and logistics services group. The Deutsche Post and DHL corporate brands stand for a one-of-a-kind portfolio of logistics (DHL) and communications (Deutsche Post) services. The Group provides its customers with both easy-to-use standardized products as well as innovative and tailored solutions ranging from dialog marketing to industrial supply chains. About 470,000 employees in more than 220 countries and territories form a global network focused on service, quality and sustainability. With programs in the areas of climate protection, disaster relief and education, the Group is committed to social responsibility. The Group generated revenue of more than 51 billion euros in 2010.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is responsible for the worldwide development, production and sales of light commercial vehicles, minivans and recreational vehicles within the Volkswagen Group. Their vehicles range from the Caddy -a light-weight city delivery van – to the fifth generation VW van – the T5 – complete with the Transporter, Caravelle, Multivan and California models, to the heavier Crafter and the new VW pickup truck, Amarok. This versatile line of vehicles is manufactured at the main plant in Hanover (Germany), in Poznan (Poland) and in Pacheco (Argentina). One of the brand’s development goals is carbon-free commercial vehicles in order to increase ways to clearly and sustainably reduce emissions at the local level.