DHL Express and Eviation, the Seattle-area based global manufacturer of all-electric aircraft, have announced DHL’s move to order 12 all-electric Alice eCargo planes from Eviation. With this engagement DHL aims to set up an electric Express network and make a step into a sustainable aviation future. Eviation’s Alice is allegedly the world’s leading fully electric aircraft, which enables airlines – both cargo and passenger – to operate a zero-emission fleet. Eviation expects to deliver the Alice electric aircraft to DHL Express in 2024.
“We firmly believe in a future with zero-emission logistics,” said John Pearson, CEO of DHL Express. “Therefore, our investments always follow the objective of improving our carbon footprint. 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. Founded in 1969, DHL Express has been known as a pioneer in the aviation industry for decades. We have found the perfect partner with Eviation as they share our purpose, and together we will take off into a new era of sustainable aviation.”
DHL stated that Alice can be flown by a single pilot, will carry 1,200 kilograms (2,600 lbs) and will require 30 minutes or less to charge per flight hour and have a maximum range of up to 815 kilometers (440 nautical miles). Alice is said to be able to operate in all environments currently serviced by piston and turbine aircraft. Alice’s advanced electric motors have fewer moving parts to increase reliability and reduce maintenance costs, said DHL. The company added that its operating software also constantly monitors flight performance to ensure optimal efficiency.
The aircraft is said to be ideal for feeder routes and requires less investment in station infrastructure. The Alice can be charged while loading and unloading operations occur, ensuring quick turnaround times that maintain DHL Express’ tight schedules, according to DHL.
“My compliments to Eviation on the innovative development of the fully electric Alice aircraft” says Travis Cobb, EVP Global Network Operations and Aviation for DHL Express. “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. For us and our customers, this is a very important step in our decarbonization journey and a step forward for the aviation industry as a whole.”
DHL stated that Alice has been specifically designed so that it can be configured for e-cargo or passengers. Eviation’s Alice all-electric aircraft is said to be on track for its first flight later this year.
The decarbonisation of its operations is one of the main pillars of DPDHL Group’s new Sustainability roadmap announced in Q1 2021. The Group announced plans to invest a total of €7bn (Opex and Capex) by 2030 in measures to reduce its CO2 emissions. The funds will go in particular towards electrification of last-mile delivery fleet, sustainable aviation fuels and climate-neutral buildings. On the way to the zero emissions target by 2050, which has already been in place for four years, the company is committing to new interim targets. For example, as part of the renowned Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi), Deutsche Post DHL Group is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.
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