DHL Express, the world’s leading express service provider, has ordered 12 fully-electric Alice eCargo planes from Eviation, a Seattle-area based global manufacturer of all-electric aircraft. Eviation expects to deliver the Alice electric aircraft to DHL Express in 2024.
DHL aims to set up an unparalleled electric Express network and make a pioneering step into a sustainable aviation future. Eviation’s Alice is the world’s leading fully electric aircraft. It enables airlines, both cargo and passenger, to operate a zero-emission fleet.
The Alice electric plane is great news for the aviation industry and looks set to create a sea change in commercial aviation. Alice’s first flight will happen later this year. This could be a real game-changer for an area of travel notorious for harmful greenhouse gases.
John Pearson, DHL Express CEO, said: “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.”
The Alice electric plane can be flown by a single pilot and carry up to 1,200 kilogrammes (2,600 lbs) of cargo. It will require just 30 minutes or less to charge per flight hour and have a maximum range of up to 506 miles (815 kilometres /440 nautical miles).
The zero-emissions plane will operate in all environments currently serviced by piston and turbine aircraft. Alice’s advanced electric motors have fewer moving parts increasing reliability and reducing maintenance costs. Its operating software constantly monitors flight performance to ensure optimal efficiency.
Omer Bar-Yohay, Eviation CEO, 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.”
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. This ensures quick turnaround times maintain DHL Express’ tight schedules.
Travis Cobb, EVP Global Network Operations and Aviation for DHL Express, said “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.
“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.”
With on-demand shopping and deliveries on a constant rise, Alice will enable DHL to establish a clean, quiet and low-cost operation that will open up greater opportunities for more communities.