In a move that takes aviation into a new era, DHL Express has signed a deal with Seattle-based global manufacturer of all-electric aircraft, Eviation, for the supply of 12 fully electric Alice eCargo planes.
The fully electric aircraft enables airlines – both cargo and passenger – to operate a zero-emission fleet. Eviation expects to deliver the aircraft to DHL Express in 2024.
“We firmly believe in a future with zero-emission logistics,” says 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.”
Alice can be flown by a single pilot and will carry 1 200 kilograms. It will require 30 minutes or less to charge per flight hour and have a maximum range of up to 815 kilometres (440 nautical miles). It 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. Its operating software constantly monitors flight performance to ensure optimal efficiency.
The aircraft is ideal for feeder routes and requires less investment in station infrastructure, according to Eviation. The Alice can be charged while loading and unloading operations occur, ensuring quick turnaround times.