Logistics giant Deutsche Post DHL announced today its first-ever order of all-electric cargo planes, in a deal with manufacturer Eviation for 12 zero-emission aircraft. The aircraft are expected to be delivered to DHL Express in 2024.

DHL stated that the zero-emission aircraft will form the world’s first electric Express network.

John Pearson, CEO of DHL Express, 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.”

Eviation is developing the all-electric Alice Aircraft, designed to be configured for e-cargo or passengers, and capable of carrying 1,200 kilograms. According to DHL, the Alice will require charging time of 30 minutes or less per flight hour, and can be charged during loading and unloading. The planes will have a maximum range of up to 815 kilometers and an inaugural flight expected to take place later this year.

Omer Bar-Yoha, Eviation CEO, said:

“From day one, we set an audacious goal to transform the aviation industry and create a new era with electric aircraft,” said Eviation CEO Omer Bar-Yohay. “Partnering with companies like DHL who are the leaders in sustainable e-cargo transportation is a testament that the electric era is upon us. This announcement is a significant milestone on our quest to transform the future of flight across the globe.”

DHL’s announcement follows the company’s recent launch of its Sustainability Roadmap, including commitments to invest of €7 billion over the next ten years on CO2 reduction initiatives, with a focus on alternative aviation fuels, the expansion of the zero-emission e-vehicle fleet and climate-neutral buildings.

 Travis Cobb, EVP Global Network Operations and Aviation for DHL Express, added:

“My compliments to Eviation on the innovative development of the fully electric Alice aircraft. 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, and 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 decarbonization journey and a step forward for the aviation industry as a whole.”