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Mercedes-Benz eVito: On the move for Amazon in Bochum

Bernd Conrad
Mercedes-Benz Vans in action for Amazon
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E in white transporter carrying the packages brings. With a few dents and scratches. Who does not know that. What looks unkempt for the inexperienced observer can often not be avoided for fleet operators. Constantly changing drivers, deadline pressure with up to 180 deliveries per shift and the dense city traffic leave their mark on the panel van.

Fixing the sheet metal deformations is often not only possible due to the tight schedule of the vehicles, but for courier companies also a question of cost. The van fleets are often only insured by the insurance companies in terms of liability, the risk for comprehensive insurance is too high.

100 electric Mercedes Vito by the end of 2018

“In the months of January to April In 2018 we had damage to 100 fleet vehicles amounting to 200,000 euros, ”reports Carsten Verdirk, who runs the Essener Blitz Kurier. His company is a delivery partner for Amazon in the Ruhr area. The vehicles he used for the online retailer, Mercedes Vito with diesel engine, are now partially being replaced by electrically powered eVito. As a first step, 30 cars will be put into service, with up to 100 battery-operated Vito cars by the end of 2018.

With the delivery van, the courier service is participating in a pilot project by Mercedes-Benz Vans, the Daimler startup up Lab 1886, where ideas for car sharing Car2Go and Moovel were invented in the past, and Fahrzeugwerke Lueg as the supporting Mercedes dealer.

In Bochum, right next to the Amazon logistics center, that is first 'Base Camp' for the Mercedes vans was created. Together with Innogy, 30 charging points for recharging the eVito have been created in the depot. When a car comes back in the evening after its tour, it can be recharged overnight. The Vito's 41.4 kWh battery needs six hours to provide the full range of 150 kilometers (according to the WLTP standard).

Vehicle scanner developed by Daimler

Before the To connect the cable, every driver has to drive through the specially developed vehicle scanner with his transporter. Here 22 cameras take photos of the car from all sides. Damage is recognized directly and noted in the vehicle file. This is where Lueg comes into play as a dealer and service partner. He can send the fleet operator a cost estimate for the repair based on the photosdo. In addition, the booking value of commercial vehicles that are used as part of a long-term rental contract can be adjusted accordingly.

For service operations, this can mean new sales potential, with which at least the workshop items such as oil changes and other work on the combustion engine that are no longer required for electric cars be partially compensated. The courier service can use the scanner and the results from it to sensitize its drivers to the careful handling of the cars.

The scanner in Bochum is the first of its kind. Daimler has taken over the financing of the hardware and software . What the machine, which is similar in size to a car wash hall, will cost has not yet been revealed. The pilot test in Dortmund is designed for six to eight years. But more scanners are to be added before that, for example in Düsseldorf, not far away.

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