DHL Express makes first-ever for 12 all-electric cargo aircraft

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DHL Express places a ground-breaking order for 12 fully electric Alice eCargo planes from Eviation, the Seattle-area-based global manufacturer of all-electric aircraft. Delivery of the aircraft will take place in 2024.
With this agreement DHL is aiming to set up an electric express network making what it describes as a “pioneering step into a sustainable aviation future”.
“We firmly believe in a future with zero-emission logistics,” says 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.”
Alice can be flown by a single pilot, requires 30 minutes or less to charge per flight hour and has a maximum range of up to 815 km carrying a 1,200 kg payload. The electric aircraft company says Alice will operate in all environments currently serviced by piston and turbine aircraft.

It also notes that Alice’s advanced electric motors have fewer moving parts to increase reliability and reduce maintenance costs and utilises an operating software which constantly monitors flight performance to ensure optimal efficiency.

Alice can be flown by a single pilot, requires 30 minutes or less to charge per flight hour and has a maximum range of up to 815 km carrying a 1,200 kg payload.
“From day one, we set an audacious goal to transform the aviation industry and create a new era with electric aircraft,” comments Eviation CEO Omer Bar-Yohay. “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.”
The aircraft is 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.
“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 decarbonisation journey and a step forward for the aviation industry as a whole.”
The Alice aircraft has also been specifically designed so that it can be configured for e-cargo or passengers. Eviation says its Alice all-electric aircraft is on track for its first flight later this year.
“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 Eviation executive chairman Roei Ganzarski. “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.”
The decarbonisation of its operations is one of the main pillars of DPDHL Group’s new Sustainability roadmap announced in Q1 2021. The Group is investing a total of EUR 7.0 billion (Opex and Capex) by 2030 in measures to reduce its CO2 emissions. The funds will go in particular towards electrification of the 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, ambitious 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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