Germany's DHL will cease production of its street scooter electric vans by the end of 2020, Automobilwoche reports. Despite this, DHL plans to continue to switch its fleet to electric vehicles.
“A number of factors have contributed to the demise of StreetScooter," Rueben Scriven, lead analyst for electric trucks at market research firm Interact Analysis, said in a statement. "Firstly, there was a significant decline in the growth of the European light-duty electric truck market, which only grew by just over 15% in 2019 compared to more than 40% in 2018. Secondly, StreetScooter was looking to tap into the Chinese market; however, the Chinese light-duty electric truck market has contracted significantly due to fears that the Chinese government will phase out subsidies after 2020."
Last year, the StreetScooter suffered a loss of around 100 million euros ($110 million). The company searched for a buyer for a long time, but was unable to secure one. However, Amazon recently purchased 40 electric transporters from DHL.
“While StreetScooter was the European market leader for electric light-duty trucks in 2018 with a market share of more than 30%, Arrival and Rivian, two of StreetScooter’s major competitors, have disrupted the market using innovative manufacturing processes and heavy investment in modular skateboard architectures," Scriven continued. "This has led to the two companies winning recent large orders of more than 110,000 units in total.”
(Amazon recently agreed to purchase 100,000 electric delivery vans from start-up Rivian, known for its electric pickup trucks.)
The management board expects one-time expenses of 300 to 400 million euros ($310 to $410 million) in 2020. DHL's CEO did not comment on what the news meant for street scooter employees or how many of them there are currently.
The future of production facilities in Aachen and Düren remains uncertain.