The company announced it had ordered 12 electric cargo planes from the manufacturer Eviation, with DHL Express to take delivery in 2024 – that will make it the first company to set up a cargo network of electric aircraft known as Electric Express.
Eviation is developing the Alice Aircraft intended for carrying cargo or passengers with payloads of 1.2 tonnes. Charging the aircraft requires half an hour for each hour of flight – which means the charging process can take place during loading and unloading. The aircraft will have a range of up to 815 km and its first flight will take place by the end of the year.
“Partnering with companies like DHL who are the leaders in sustainable e-cargo transportation is a testament that the electric era is upon us,” said Eviation CEO Omer Bar-Yohay.
DHL had previously announced its intention to invest 7 billion euros over the next decade in projects aimed at reducing CO2 emissions. The company has pledged to concentrate on alternative fuels, the expansion of its fleet of electric vehicles with zero emissions and construction of a climate-neutral office.
“With Alice’s range and capacity, this is a fantastic sustainable solution for our global network. Our aspiration is to make a substantial contribution in reducing our carbon footprint, and these advancements in fleet and technology will go a long way in achieving further carbon reductions,” Travis Cobb, DHL’s executive vice president of global network operations and aviation, said in a statement. “For our customers and ourselves, this is a milestone on the way to decarbonizing our business. At the same time, it is also an important step for aviation as a whole.”