Piepenbrock employs about 27,000 people in Germany. Most of these are tasked with delivering services. Mobility is therefore an important factor, which is still closely linked to carbon dioxide emissions. Even if in recent years new types of drive system have been developed that are about to or have already been launched, in most cases Piepenbrock employees have to rely on conventional means of transport to travel to and from its work venues. The family-run business already reached the decision several years ago to keep the emissions in the whole group as low as possible.
The European Union requires automotive manufacturers to invest more in climate protection. As a result, representatives of the EU states, the European parliament and the EU commission agreed in June 2013 to lower the upper limit for the average carbon dioxide emission of new European vehicles from 130 (current figure) to 95 grammes per kilometre after 2020. Not just as a result of this requirement but also because the company itself believes it is important to do so, Piepenbrock will apply the relevant criteria for CO2 emissions and fuel consumption to its fleet of 1000 vehicles in the long-term. This will be adjusted successively to optimised models. Here, the company orientates itself around the annual "VCD car environment list" of the ecological traffic club of Germany (Verkehrsclub Deutschland).
The B-Class F-CELL from Mercedes Benz represents a new era in the development of hydrogen-powered vehicles. Piepenbrock was heavily involved in the test phase. The Berlin branch employed one of about 100 F-CELLs throughout Germany in city traffic. Piepenbrock travelled between 1500 and 2000 kilometres in the vehicle each month. It is above all the tank cycles that have to be observed here as the hydrogen filling stations were regularly affected by maintenance work and as such were partially unavailable.
The "Clean Energy Partnership" has an availability system with current information about the operating status of the hydrogen filling stations. Additional filling stations will become available successively in Berlin, which will allow further alternatives in future. Nevertheless, the range thanks to the expandable infrastructure is manageable as the F-CELL can be used irrespective of weather in a radius of maximum 200 kilometres.
The BMW i3 has been part of Piepenbrock's fleet park since 2013. The new development from Bavaria was engineered to drive electrically on the crowded streets in and around major cities. To this end, the design engineers developed a new type of carbon passenger compartment and equipped the car with a 170 HP electric motor. Further information can be gleaned from the press release.
In addition to the right "hardware", it also depends on the driver. Driving behaviour and route planning can make a difference when it comes to protecting the environment. Therefore, seven members of staff from Piepenbrock took part for the first time in 2013 in a "Short Duration Training" course. They received simple tips on how to drive with foresight, consistently in the right speed range and lower the average fuel consumption by up to 15 percent. During the one hour course on public roads, instructors from the German traffic safety council (DVR) showed at which points individuals have the potential to optimise their driving for greater safety.
A conscious driving style has a positive effect on wear parts such as brakes and tyres and reduces the intensity of maintenance work. Even the driver profits from it subjectively: They reach their destination in the same amount of time but considerably more relaxed. It was possible even during the first training unit to reduce fuel consumption by 10 to 15 percent. It is planned to extend the eco driver training to as many locations in Germany as possible.