DPD Switzerland uses e-trucks for transalpine distribution

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DPD has begun using zero-emission vehicles and the railway between Ticino and the north side of the Alps for transalpine distribution.

The e-trucks developed by Designwerk Products in Winterthur, Switzerland, feature batteries with a capacity of 900kWh and an average range of around 600km. An electric DPD truck traveled 1,099km on one battery charge at the Contidrom in Hannover in 2021, securing a place in the Guinness World Records and demonstrating the usefulness of e-trucks.

DPD is currently using six e-trucks throughout Switzerland, and this number is set to rise gradually in 2023. As things currently stand, DPD’s fleet of around 850 vehicles is 15% electrified and its target of 20% by the end of the year is within reach. DPD is aiming to have an entire fleet of zero-emission vehicles, 90% of which will be electric, by 2030. The remaining vehicles will likely have alternative zero-emission drives and be used for extremely long routes. DPD is aiming to reduce its total CO2  emissions by 75% by 2030 (from a 2020 baseline).

DPD’s decision to use e-trucks in its line operations between northern and southern Switzerland comes 100 years after the electrification of the Gotthard railway. The railway was electrified between Chiasso and Lucerne in 1922, the entire line being electrified all the way to Basel in 1924.

Almost three decades after the adoption of the Alpine Initiative, electric trucks are an energetic and acoustic paradigm shift in transalpine road haulage. With a total load of up to 38 tons, the trucks travel almost silently through Alpine passes that usually echo with the sound of transit traffic.

Tilmann Schultze, CEO of DPD Switzerland, said, “Up until a few years ago, the idea of using e-trucks on the Gotthard axis was considered unrealistic, so we are all the prouder to have made the transition now. It is both an important milestone on our road to zero-emission parcel deliveries and a contribution to Alpine conservation.”

Ville Heimgartner, senior innovation project and sustainability manager at DPD Switzerland, said, “Our experience with the e-trucks has been excellent and the manufacturer Designwerk is the ideal partner. We save around nine tons of CO2  per e-truck per month.”

To keep up with the latest vehicle/fleet developments from the parcel and postal technology industry, click here.

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