DHL adds all-electric cargo planes to its fleet

The global logistics operator will buy 12 Alice eCargo planes from US electric plane maker Eviation to improve its carbon presence

A render of the production configuration of Alice, displayed over the greater Seattle area. Courtesy: Eviation
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DHL Express, the global logistics company, has placed an order for 12 electric cargo aircraft from Eviation, based in Seattle, US, as part of its efforts to decarbonise its logistics supply chain.

The company has ordered Alice eCargo planes, which are a single-pilot aircraft capable of carrying 1,200 kilograms of cargo. The eCargo plane requires about 30 minutes of charging before each flight and has a range of around 815km.

"We firmly believe in a future with zero-emission logistics,” John Pearson, chief executive of DHL Express, said on Wednesday.

“Therefore, our investments always follow the objective of improving our carbon [presence]. On our way to clean logistics operations, the electrification of every transport mode plays a crucial role and will significantly contribute to our overall sustainability goal of zero emissions.”

DHL Express, a unit of German logistics group Deutsche Post, is investing €7 billion ($8.3bn) to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. The investment will focus on electrification of its last-mile delivery fleet, sustainable fuels for aviation as well as in climate-neutral buildings. The company plans to reach zero emissions by 2050.

“The next time you order an on-demand package, check if it was delivered with a zero-emission aircraft like DHL will be doing,” said Roei Ganzarski, executive chairman of Eviation.

“With on-demand shopping and deliveries on a constant rise, Alice is enabling DHL to establish a clean, quiet and low-cost operation that will open up greater opportunities for more communities."

Eviation's Alice model is set for an inaugural flight in the second half of this year ahead of service entry in 2024.

Updated: August 04, 2021, 2:29 PM