DHL Express is teaming up with all-electric aircraft manufacturer Eviation to build the world’s first electric air cargo network.
On Tuesday, the courier giant announced the order of twelve “Alice” aircraft from the Seattle-based company to be delivered by 2024.
Alice is an all-electric nine-seat aircraft, designed to transport passengers and freight alike.
It can be flown by a single pilot and carry up to 1,200kg of payload. It needs a mere 30-minute charge per flight hour, and has a maximum range of up to 815 kilometers.
Eviation, which expects to make Alice’s maiden flight later this year, is one of a number of companies looking to electrify regional air travel and reduce energy consumption, operating costs, and CO2 emissions.
Regarding the partnership with Eviation, John Pearson, CEO of DHL Express, said:
We firmly believe in a future with zero-emission logistics […] 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.
Plus, DHL is interested in some practical advantages that Alice offers: it requires less investment in station infrastructure and can be charged while loading and unloading.
As per the German firm, this makes Alice ideal for feeder routes and for the tight schedules, which need to be maintained.
This collaboration is part of the Deutsche Post DHL Group’s $8.3 billion investment in measures to reduce emissions by 2030 and to go carbon-free by 2050.
Do EVs excite your electrons? Do ebikes get your wheels spinning? Do self-driving cars get you all charged up?
Then you need the weekly SHIFT newsletter in your life. Click here to sign up.
Get the Shift newsletter
Get the most important mobility news in your inbox each week.Follow @shift_tnw