Since August, two e-cars from the post office in Graz have been running with systems that filter particulate matter from the air. It was no coincidence that the trendsetting test took place in Styria, as Peter Umundum, director of the “Parcel & Logistics” division, explains in an interview with “Krone”.
“crown”: Why was Graz chosen as the location for this project?
Peter Umundus: That came from both Mercedes and us and should be seen as a great compliment to the city of Graz. Everything for this pilot project is available here.
Could the system actually be used permanently to purify the air?
From our point of view yes. We are on the road in Graz with more than 300 vehicles every day and can thus create great added value. However, the question of costs has not yet been sufficiently clarified.
All delivery vans of the Post in Graz are electrically powered. Should this flagship model set a precedent across Austria?
The “Green Graz” project was the first of its kind in all of Europe. Since last October we have saved approximately 218,000 liters of diesel on 2.2 million kilometers driven. Innsbruck and Salzburg will follow the example of Graz next year. By 2030, we want to convert all postal vehicles in Austria to electric drives.
But can this be implemented in rural areas at all?
Meanwhile, yes. The range of many vehicles used to be a problem – especially in winter. But the new generation of electric cars has sufficient range.
And what about the charging infrastructure in the more rural regions?
The charging infrastructure is generally an important point. We need 100% certainty that charging can take place – sometimes up to 100 vehicles at a time in urban areas. Wherever we build new, the right power supply is no problem. We also have photovoltaic cells on the roof of all new installations. On the other hand, modifying existing locations is a pretty big challenge – a much bigger one than finding the cars.
Will these ambitious plans be held back by the current e-car delivery issues?
The long delivery times are a major challenge. Last summer we had to commit to the autumn of next year for large orders. In 2022 and 2023 we will invest 80 million euros in fleet migration. For delivery, say the last mile, we only order e-cars.
What other mobility projects does Swiss Post have planned?
We can imagine using autonomous vehicles in site traffic. In addition, we want to start the first projects with e-trucks next year, but that still depends a bit on the subsidies.
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