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This article was published on August 4, 2021

DHL wants to build the world’s first electric air cargo network

The courier giant has ordered twelve all-electric aircraft from Eviation

DHL wants to build the world’s first electric air cargo network
Ioanna Lykiardopoulou
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Ioanna Lykiardopoulou

Ioanna is a writer at SHIFT. She likes the transition from old to modern, and she's all about shifting perspectives. Ioanna is a writer at SHIFT. She likes the transition from old to modern, and she's all about shifting perspectives.

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.

DHL is ordering 12 electric aircraft from Eviation.
Credit: DHL
An impression of the DHL Alice aircraft.

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.

Alice, Eviation
Credit: Eviation
The all-electric Alice.

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.

To name a few examples, there are also Sweden’s Heart Aerospace and Italy’s Tecnam.

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.

DHL, all-electric Alice aircraft, Eviation.
Credit: DHL
DHL believes that Alice will ensure quick turnaround times.

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.


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