Inside StreetScooter

KSPG technology helps deliver letters and parcels with the battery-powered StreetScooter

Among the vehicles being used by Germany’s parcel service Deutsche Post DHL on urban services in the city of Bonn is a transporter from Aachener StreetScooter GmbH which has engineered its own version of electricpropulsion vehicle. Combined with range extender unit and thermo module from KSPG the scooter’s range before recharging will become even greater.

If the term “scooter” conjures up the funfair you’re not far off. Amusement park rides normally use electric autos and the StreetScooter fleet is battery powered when working as a mail and package carrier. The inventor is StreetScooter GmbH, a spin-off from a project at RWTH Aachen university headed by Prof. Dr.-.Ing. Achim Kampker. Since mid-2010, the ingenious innovators have been re-inventing urban mobility and come up with a unique vehicular concept: reasonably priced electric vehicles engineered around an eco-friendly propulsion system.

ELECTRIC, ENTERPRISING, EFFICIENT: STREETSCOOTER WORK IS THE COMPACT SOLUTION FOR HAULAGE DISTANCES OF UP TO 80 KM  

The transporter version of the StreetScooter fleet is named "Work" and that’s just what it does: act as a tool for “last mile” doorstep delivery. Deutsche Post DHL had commissioned the Aachen-based engineers to develop a compact battery electric vehicle for delivering letters and parcels. Job description: on duty up to 300 days a year, up to 200 stop/re-start cycles a day, enough loading space, robust, and safe. Meanwhile over 50 StreetScooter Work units are on delivery duty throughout Germany. At the start of 2015, the Aachen-based company was taken over by Deutsche Post DHL. During the design phase, not just environmental criteria were taken into account, but economic factors as well. This led the designers to opt for a modular lightweight construction to serve as the basis for the functional architecture, from which individually designed model variations could be derived in an easy, cost-efficient manner. The flexible design also allows damaged parts to be inexpensively replaced, while minimizing service and maintenance costs.

Greater range thanks to KSPG

There was still the mileage challenge and in order to further prolong the distances travelled between recharging, a range extender will in future be installed. The extender, a joint effort between KSPG and the development services provider, FEV GmbH, is (as yet) powered by a 2-cylinder gasoline engine in V design which is installed as a pre-assembled module. This makes it relatively easy to be integrated via just a few interfaces into StreetScooter Work and other vehicles of this type. The extender also permits installation of a smaller, less costly lithium-ion battery.

DEVELOPMENT WORK GOES ON: THE RANGE EXTENDER WILL SOON BE RUNNING ON BIOGAS METHANE

As part of a combined Green Rex project, KSPG and FEV have joined up with the research institute Fraunhofer ICT to develop a natural-gas powered range extender that made its debut at the commercial vehicle fair IAA Hannover in 2014. A power unit that uses biogas methane instead of normal fuel, is likely (when) to undergo testing in StreetScooter Work—one more step toward a lightweight commercial vehicle run on purely regenerative resources.

Efficient heating and cooling

Likewise engineered as a compact plug-andplay system is the heater/cooler module being tested by KSPG and a number of customers. The innovation here is that existing equipment such as the propulsion unit and generator acts as heat sources. In summer, the module has a cooling effect and serves as a comfortable air conditioner. Its high energy efficiency spares the battery and helps StreetScooter Work carry its letters and parcels to their destinations, quietly humming to itself. The extended range is now 80 km.