Former BMW CFO plans EV van plant in U.S.

LONDON – Last-mile transportation provider B-On, led by former BMW board member Stefan Krause, plans to build on its acquisition of electric delivery van maker StreetScooter Engineering.

Krause told Automotive News Europe his next aims are to add an electric three-wheel van maker and to develop an “urban mobility” passenger vehicle.

Krause, who was BMW’s chief financial officer and then head of global sales between 2002 and 2008, has also held top-level jobs at Deutsche Post, Deutsche Bank and U.S. EV startups Canoo, Faraday Future and Fisker.

B-On, formerly known as Odin Automotive, bought the StreetScooter van family, intellectual property, tooling and the contract with manufacturer Neapco from Deutsche Post in January.  Deutsche Post decided to exit the van making business nearly eight years after buying the German startup in 2014.

B-On will use StreetScooter’s core Work L van, its larger sibling, the Gigabox, and the three-wheel vans to establish a global company focused on selling last-mile delivery solutions, Krause said on the sidelines of the London MOVE 22 urban mobility show.

The StreetScooter name will not be used on the vehicles.

While Krause did not name the three-wheeler company bought by B-On, Automotive News Europe confirmed separately that it was Hong Kong-based Kyto Ventures.

The rickshaw-styled vehicles will be made at a factory in Indonesia, Krause said.

Deutsche Post got into the electric van business after failing to find a suitable vehicle to offer zero-emission urban delivery.

The decision to build the StreetScooter famously annoyed former Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Mueller, who questioned why Deutsche Post had not asked VW first.

Deutsche Post collaborated with Ford to build an XL version of the StreetScooter based on the Transit van, but in 2020 the logistics company announced it would stop making StreetScooters by the end of the year due to the excessive cost.

Deutsche Post, however, continued production of the StreetScooter into 2022.

B-On has a contract to supply the logistics giant and its subsidiary, DHL, with a set number of vans annually. Krause declined to say how many, but the number is understood to be about 3,000 a year.

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