Deutsche Post to start sale of electric vehicles in 2017

A worker opens a truck at a distribution centre of German postal and logistics group Deutsche Post DHL in Obertshausen, Germany June 15, 2016. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

DUESSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) - German postal and logistics group Deutsche Post DHL DPWGn.DE is planning to start selling electric delivery vans on the open market in 2017, a spokesman for the group said on Friday.

Deutsche Post initially developed the Streetscooter, a four-wheeled electric van with a range of up to 120 kilometres, for its own use for delivering mail and parcels.

But the group plans to start mass production of the vehicles shortly, aiming for up to 10,000 vehicles per year and production shift, German magazine Spiegel reported on Friday.

“We want to start sales to third parties from next year,” a spokesman told Reuters.

The market for electric cars has been shaken up by California start-up Tesla Motors TSLA.O, which proved the barriers to entry into the auto industry had been lowered.

Currently, the delivery van segment is dominated by traditional volume car makers such as Ford F.N.

Reporting by Matthias Inverardi; Writing by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Maria Sheahan