DHL has begun operating its first purpose-built fully electric 16-ton vehicle in the UK. The Volvo FL Electric 4×2 rigid is now part of DHL Supply Chain’s fleet in London, making last-mile deliveries into the West End shopping district.
The vehicle is powered by four 200kWh batteries, giving a range of 193km, and can carry a maximum of 12 pallets weighing up to 6 tons. The company notes that the truck will recharge overnight at its base in Purfleet for daily operations into the city center.
Ian Clough, managing director, network logistics and transport, UK & Ireland, DHL Supply Chain commented on the trial: “As the market leader in contract logistics, and part of the world’s largest logistics group, we have a responsibility to reach for ambitious sustainability targets as we deliver best-in-class solutions for our customers. We are very proud and excited that our investment in the UK’s first operational fully electric large commercial vehicle is just another example of how we are doing that. The Volvo FL Electric is the perfect solution to the challenges of urban logistics, allowing us to make deliveries in densely populated inner-city locations where air quality and noise pollution challenges are highest.”
According to research conducted among transport decision makers on behalf of DHL, ground transportation is moving away from its traditional role as a commodity toward becoming a business differentiator; 71% believe it is a strategic component of their business, and 75% agree that investment in this area will directly support growth.