By Taylor Rains
DHL Express Partners with Eviation to Build a Fleet of Electric eCargo Jets
DHL Express and Seattle-based aircraft manufacturer Eviation have teamed up to “electrify aerospace.” On Tuesday, DHL announced it is building the first-ever electric aviation network and has ordered 12 Alice eCargo jets from Eviation. The partnership will pioneer sustainable aviation and shape the future for zero-emission cargo and passenger flights.
Eviation’s Alice plane, which can be used for cargo or passenger service, is expected to take flight by the end of 2021, with the first eCargo jet scheduled to be delivered to DHL Express by 2024. Alice has a range of 815 kilometers (440 nautical miles) and can carry up to 1,200 kg (2,600 lbs) of packages. The aircraft can operate in environments currently served by piston and turbine aircraft and has robust operating software that regularly monitors flight performance, ensuring maximum efficiency. Furthermore, the plane’s motors have fewer moving parts, which enhances reliability and reduces maintenance costs.
Alice is particularly useful for feeder routes and does not require a strong station infrastructure. The plane can be charged in 30 minutes for a 1 hour flight, which can be done during the loading and unloading process. This will ensure DHL’s tight schedule is met with quick turnaround times and fewer operational disruptions.
The 12 planes on order will create DHL’s electric network, which will reduce the company’s carbon footprint and, if successful, should encourage other carriers to do the same.
DHL Express CEO John Pearson explained, “We firmly believe in a future with zero-emission logistics. 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,” Pearson continued.
Eviation CEO Omer Bar-Yohay said, “From day one, we set an audacious goal to transform the aviation industry and create a new era with electric aircraft. Partnering with companies like DHL who are the leaders in sustainable e-cargo transportation is a testament that the electric era is upon us. This announcement is a significant milestone on our quest to transform the future of flight across the globe.”
As of Q1 2021, decarbonization is one of the main pillars of DPDHL Group’s new Sustainability roadmap. The company has invested seven billion euros (about $8.3 billion) to reduce its carbon footprint by 2030, which is an interim target on its way to its main goal – to operate with zero emissions by 2050.
Eviation Executive Chairman Roei Ganzarski said, “The next time you order an on-demand package, check if it was delivered with a zero-emission aircraft like DHL will be doing. 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.”
DHL Express is not the only carrier with sustainability in mind. United Airlines recently announced a partnership with Heart Aerospace to create the ES-19, an electric aircraft engineered to decarbonate regional air travel, as well as a deal to buy up to 200 Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing aircraft from Archer.