Deutsche Post subsidiary StreetScooter and automobile manufacturer Chery Holding Group sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) around last-mile electric light commercial vehicles (eLCV).
The MoU is aimed at starting local production, sourcing and development of the eLCVs specially tailored to the Chinese market and potentially selected other countries.
The entry of electric light commercial vehicles into the Chinese market will be gradual, the two companies note. Perspective total investment up to EUR 500 million is in the cards with mass production planned for 2021, with production capacities of up to 100,000 electric vehicles per annum.
The MoU is part of an economic agreement reached during German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s trip to China. China and the ASEAN region are of major strategic significance for StreetScooter, offering opportunities for high volumes, in-country value creation and technological collaboration, the company says.
The two companies plan to develop an electric light utility vehicle for the international market in selected countries. The project will include local manufacturing and sourcing as well as nationwide sales and service.
The market entry of StreetScooter in China continues the internationalisation of the company after the strategic cooperation with the Japanese logistics company Yamato, the company says.
“This production and sales agreement is a major milestone in our company’s, as yet, short history,” says StreetScooter CEO Jörg Sommer. “We’re thrilled about the upcoming collaboration with our partner Chery and this opportunity to open up the world’s largest market for electric light commercial vehicles, introduce our energy, logistics and fleet solutions and create a local source of value creation. StreetScooter now has a commercial presence in Japan and China, the two most important national economies in Asia.”
Chairman of the Board of Chery Holdings, Yin Tongyue adds: “The strong cooperation between Chery and StreetScooter will create opportunities for both parties to explore the global market, especially in the EU and China. It will also help Chery to further accelerate the development of innovative solutions based on new energy and smart interconnection and therefore surpass traditional fuel vehicles. Chery will actively integrate the global unique resources and know-how through open cooperation and customer centric unique-selling-propositions and offerings.”
The joint venture also aims to establish a location for research and development in China, focusing on developing eLCV components, technology, vehicle architecture and design, autonomous logistics and energy solutions.
The Chinese market for light commercial vehicles is expected to reach 2.3 million trucks by 2025, over 900,000 of which are forecast to be electric. Such rapid growth will make China the largest market in the world for electric vehicles of this kind, followed by Europe and the US.
Market growth is being driven by numerous factors: Urbanisation, rising transport volumes in downtown delivery traffic (last mile), related municipal rules and regulations on vehicle emissions, and new mobility, logistics and energy solutions.
Major sales potential for the soon-to-be jointly produced electric vehicles will be offered by a regionally tailored and homologated version of the StreetScooter products and services, the two say. The new joint venture intends to target major fleet operators in the areas of last-mile delivery and e-commerce as potential customers.