FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Large-scale production of a small electric minivan by a subsidiary of Germany’s Deutsche Post moved a step closer on Friday after the vehicle won clearance from regulators.
The group’s Street Scooter unit, which is already making small numbers of the WORK electric minivan, won approval to start full production to enable it to meet growing demand for the emissions-free vehicle.
The production ramp-up comes as German cities struggle to meet strict European Union pollution norms, with diesel-powered commercial vehicles a key culprit. Courts have ordered some cities to impose driving bans on older diesel-powered vehicles.
Permission from German’s federal transportation authorities for mass production of the WORK to start will allow Street Scooter to ramp up output of the small e-van after approval was already given for the larger WORK XL.
“The level of interest shown in the Street Scooter by companies with large fleets, tradespeople and municipal corporations is huge,” said Achim Kampker, Street Scooter CEO.
“Approval for large series production means that when filling fleet orders, large numbers of vehicles can be put on the road without problems, including abroad,” Kampker added.
In addition to its production site in Aachen, Street Scooter has opened a second plant in Dueren, increasing capacity to up to 20,000 electric vans per year.
Street Scooter also produces a larger model in partnership with Ford at the U.S. auto maker’s factory in Cologne.
Reporting by Ilona Wissenbach; Writing by Douglas Busvine; Editing by David Holmes