On quiet wheels
For lower emissions and calmer roads: over the next three years, ABT e-Line is set to convert up to 20,000 Volkswagen Caddy and Transporter vehicles to electric drive. DACHSER will handle procurement, storage, and production supplies for the requisite electric components.
Noise, fumes, mile-long jams—the traffic situation in many cities tries the patience of drivers and residents alike, especially during rush hour. As entry to downtown areas becomes increasingly restricted for older diesel vehicles, intelligent traffic concepts for city centers are high in demand, including emission-free vehicles for retail, trade, and industry. ABT e-Line, an e-mobility specialist based in the Allgäu region of southern Germany, is a Volkswagen Premium Partner and has been converting the popular T6 and Caddy commercial vehicles to electric since fall 2019.
With the e-Caddy and e-Transporter offering ranges of some 160 and 140 kilometers respectively, these vehicles are especially appealing to companies that can easily estimate their delivery radius and wish to go emission-free for the last mile. Converting the T6 and the Caddy into e-vehicles involves more than just a battery: the process also requires a large set of items for the vehicles, all of which must be procured, picked, and then delivered to the company in charge of the job.
By sea from Asia to Germany
DACHSER’s role in this is to handle all aspects of logistics along the entire supply chain on ABT’s behalf. Via its European ROAD network, the logistics provider ships the components to its branch in Langenau near Ulm, Germany, where they are stored. For every vehicle to be converted, the DACHSER warehouse team assembles a kit consisting of 120 items and delivers it to another ABT project partner by shuttle. Meanwhile, DACHSER Air & Sea Logistics ensures that the battery modules are transported safely to Germany, shipping them directly from Asia to the Memmingen-based battery manufacturer by sea. From there, the finished battery is mounted on special transport racks and delivered via DACHSER’s ROAD network by truck to the project partner that will then perform the vehicle conversion.
“Given that we have four project partners all working together, it’s particularly important to have a robust logistics process in place that has been developed and coordinated in advance. It’s the only way to ensure that everything runs smoothly,” says Michael Geschwentner, Manager of Contract Logistics at DACHSER Langenau. The project was rolled out step by step over a period of 18 months with repeated test runs to fine-tune the processes. Operations began officially in late 2019 and capacity is being gradually. Over the next three years, 20,000 Caddys and Transporters are set to be converted to electric drive and will do their part to make our roads cleaner and quieter.