DHL Express has placed its first order for 12 fully electric Alice eCargo planes from Eviation, a Seattle-area based manufacturer of all-electric aircraft.
With this engagement, DHL aims to set up an electric Express network and advance the future of sustainable aviation. Eviation’s Alice is a fully electric aircraft that allows cargo and passenger airlines to operate a zero-emission fleet. Eviation expects to deliver the Alice electric aircraft to DHL Express in 2024.
“We firmly believe in a future with zero-emission logistics,” said John Pearson, CEO of DHL Express. “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. 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.”
Alice can be flown by a single pilot and carry 2,600 pounds. It will require 30 minutes or less to charge per flight hour and have a maximum range of up to 440 nautical miles. Alice will operate in all environments currently serviced by piston and turbine aircraft. Its advanced electric motors have fewer moving parts to increase reliability and reduce maintenance costs and its operating software constantly monitors flight performance to ensure optimal efficiency.
“From day one, we set an audacious goal to transform the aviation industry and create a new era with electric aircraft,” Eviation CEO Omer Bar-Yohay said. “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.”
The aircraft is well suited for feeder routes and requires less investment in station infrastructure. The Alice can be charged while loading and unloading operations occur, ensuring quick turnaround times that maintain DHL Express’ tight schedules.
“With Alice’s range and capacity, this is a fantastic sustainable solution for our global network,” Travis Cobb, executive vice president of global network operations and aviation for DHL Express, said. “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.”
Alice has been specifically designed so that it can be configured for e-cargo or passengers. Eviation’s Alice all-electric aircraft is on track for its first flight later this year.
“The next time you order an on-demand package, check if it was delivered with a zero-emission aircraft like DHL will be doing,” Eviation executive chairman Roei Ganzarski said. “With on-demand shopping and deliveries on a constant rise, Alice is enabling DHL to establish a clean, quiet and low-cost operation that will open up greater opportunities for more communities.”