The name speaks for itself! The ZUKUNFT.DE (FUTURE.DE) federal flagship project was officially launched today by Federal Minister Andreas Scheuer in the presence of state representatives and project partners from industry and science. It is the kick-off for a project that hitherto is unique in Germany in this form. Up to 500 electric transporters in the inner-city parcel delivery service on the so-called "last mile", the development of charging infrastructure for the electric transporters in operational distribution centres and depots as well as a broadly-based scientific monitoring programme make ZUKUNFT.DE a nationwide flagship project, which primarily covers the federal states cooperating in the project, namely Baden-Württemberg, Hamburg and Hesse.

“Zustellverkehre kundenfreundlich, nachhaltig, flexibel und transparent. Durch Emissionsfreiheit” – ZUKUNFT.DE for short (English: “Customer-friendly, sustainable, flexible and transparent delivery services. Through absence of emissions”): This represents the guiding principle that is shared by a total of eleven project partners and a further five associated partners who will cooperate closely in this major joint project until the end of 2020.

This is the first time that four leading companies in the courier, express and parcel industry, namely DPD Deutschland, GLS Germany, Hermes Germany and UPS United Parcel Service Deutschland, will be jointly involved in a cooperation geared to innovation. On the vehicle side, the project will be supported by Daimler AG and Volkswagen AG and on the energy side with Stromnetz Hamburg GmbH and EnBW AG (associated). It goes far beyond the aspects of mere vehicle and charging infrastructure procurement. Among the focal points are, for example, the conceptual preparation of depot locations for the use of e-transporters, the development of energy concepts and the resulting reorientation of operating procedures. The project is scientifically supported by the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO as well as the Kühne Logistics University and coordinated by the Hamburg project control centre hySOLUTIONS GmbH (project management) and the two associated partners e-mobil BW and the Hessian Ministry of Economics, Energy, Transport and Regional Development.

The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure is providing funding support for the project totalling some 9.9 million euros, of which 7.4 million euros will be allocated for the foundation part and around 2.5 million euros for the remainder of the project. The implementation of the corresponding electric mobility funding guideline was coordinated by NOW GmbH.

Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer:
“We want to ensure that the vehicles which are constantly on the move in the city each day are clean. It is for this reason that we are investing more than 7 million euros today alone in emission-free parcel and delivery transport services. The ZUKUNFT.DE project combines industrial know-how and future-proof innovation and thereby makes an important contribution to better air quality in our urban areas. It proves that good mobility and better air are not a contradiction in terms.”