DHL Express has announced that following a successful initial pilot program using nine Lightning Electric Ford Transit 350HD electric vans in the US late last year, it will deploy 89 more electric vehicles in New York and California in 2021.
Produced by Lightning eMotors, a designer and manufacturer of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, the new electric vehicles are highly durable and capable of achieving 61MPGe, compared with 13mpg for similar gas-powered vans. They also include proprietary telematics and analytics software, which will aid with route optimization, driver training and vehicle efficiencies.
“We’re aiming to improve the lives of people where they live and work, using clean pickup and delivery solutions – such as electric vehicles and cargo cycles – for our first- and last-mile services,” said DHL Express US CEO Greg Hewitt. “With the successful deployment of the first nine pilot vehicles, we are excited to expand our electric delivery van footprint and continue to drive forward our corporate roadmap to decarbonization.”
The new vans enhance DHL Express’s robust alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) fleet in the US, which includes fully electric, hybrid electric and clean diesel varieties – in addition to low-power electric-assist e-cargo cycles. DHL has also begun piloting four electric tractor-trailer vehicles in the Los Angeles market, to haul goods to and from the DHL LAX Gateway and local service centers.
“These new electric vans are designed to better serve DHL customers and help couriers more efficiently and effectively deliver packages,” said Tim Reeser, CEO of Lightning eMotors. “At the same time, they are helping DHL to meet its commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve urban air quality, as well as reduce noise on the streets.”
On March 22, Deutsche Post DHL Group announced an accelerated roadmap to decarbonization, which includes investing a total of €7bn/US$8.2bn (opex and capex) over the next 10 years in measures to reduce its CO2 emissions.