Deutsche Post Is Said to Mull Options for Electric-Van Business

(Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Post AG is exploring strategic options for its StreetScooter electric delivery-van business, including courting an outside investor to fund expansion and eventually selling a stake on the stock market, according to people familiar with the matter.

Initial deliberations value the project at more than 1 billion euros ($1.22 billion) after it generated 200 million euros in revenue in 2016, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the talks are confidential.

Deutsche Post Is Said to Mull Options for Electric-Van Business

Anita Gupta, a spokeswoman at Bonn-based Deutsche Post, declined to comment on “speculation.”

The German postal service, which also owns the DHL delivery brand, developed the bare-bones, limited-range StreetScooter in partnership with local academics after the country’s carmaking giants belittled the idea. While the vehicle is primarily for Deutsche Post’s own use, it’s also being sold to third parties. In a sign of bigger plans, the StreetScooter project was placed this week in a new business-incubator division run by Juergen Gerdes, the long-time head of German mail and parcel operations.

StreetScooter’s current suppliers include Robert Bosch GmbH, the world’s largest car-components maker, which produces the electric powertrain, and Ford Motor Co., which provides a chassis from its popular Transit van for the model’s largest variant. That version can travel as far as 200 kilometers (120 miles) on a fully charged battery and carry more than 200 parcels.

Production capacity is being doubled to about 20,000 vehicles a year, and the vans being sold to outside customers are priced starting at 40,400 euros. Deutsche Post has committed to making 70 percent of its short-haul fleet emissions-free by 2025.

Gerdes, 53, helped develop the mail division’s e-commerce operation as online shopping propelled growth in package deliveries, helping sustain the division as email eroded letter volume. Deutsche Post Chief Executive Officer Frank Appel is taking over responsibility for the mail and parcel unit until the company appoints a successor for Gerdes.

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