DHL, everybody’s logistic partner, will soon be conveying parcels with electric aircraft. The company has ordered 12 Alice eCargo electric aircraft to join its fleets of electric vans and bikes.
The Alice eCargo plane is made by Eviation Aircraft Ltd, based in Seattle. They can carry up to 2,600 pounds and fly 440 nautical miles or 815 km on a single charge.
DHL is already working to integrate the zero-emission aircraft into its operations as it plans to charge the planes when they are being loaded or unloaded. The aircraft charges 100 percent in just 30 minutes, around the same time it takes to refuel a similarly sized traditional aircraft. DHL will start using the planes in 2024 when they will be used first on Californian routes. They will transport packages from major air hubs to smaller markets.
One of the goals of DHL with these electric planes is to reduce the carbon footprint of its worldwide operations, with a zero-emission target for 2050. The global logistics company will spend €7 billion by 2030 to reduce its CO2 emission.
Johnson Pearson, CEO of DHL, expressed his delight at working with Eviation, “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.”
He continues, “We firmly believe in a future with zero-emission logistics. 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.”
Just like electric vehicles, electric planes are less expensive to fuel. They require less maintenance as well as they have fewer moving parts that could wear out. This means DHL will save both money and the environment when the Alice planes start operating.
According to Eviation founder and CEO Omer Bay-Yohay, “DHL represents a very close-to-the-ideal customer for us. They have the right footprint in the sense that they use planes of similar size to move parcels around today. This kind of goes hand in hand with what we’re doing at Eviation. We’re building Alice to fit existing business models, to fit existing airports, and to really work within the network of the operator.”