D.he Deutsche Post plans to soon use electric aircraft in air freight in order to come closer to the long-term goal of emission-free operation by 2050. The freight subsidiary DHL Express has ordered twelve electric aircraft of the type “Alice” from the electric aircraft manufacturer Eviation, which are to be delivered in 2024, the Bonn-based company announced on Tuesday. The “Alice” youngster flight should take place this year.
With the order, DHL is planning to set up the first electric and thus emission-free air freight network, it said. “Alice” can transport more than 1200 kilograms of cargo. The charging time per flight hour is around 30 minutes, the maximum range is 815 kilometers. The aircraft is therefore suitable for shorter feeder flights. For comparison: a twin-engine Boeing 777 can transport a maximum freight volume of 102,010 kilos with a range of 9200 kilometers.
“We firmly believe in the emission-free future of logistics,” said DHL Express boss John Pearson. The electrification of all modes of transport plays a decisive role in this. Swiss Post plans to invest around seven billion euros by 2030 to reduce CO2 emissions. The group aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. Air freight plays an important role here – with 2,200 flights a day in the express division alone, it is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the group.
Obtained from residual waste
To reduce CO2 emissions, logistics companies like Swiss Post and airlines are already switching from fossil kerosene to sustainable fuels (SAF). These are obtained from residual waste, for example. With its “Fit for 55” climate package, the EU Commission wants to ensure an increased use of sustainable fuels in aviation. The package aims to achieve the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels in order to combat climate change.
The Bonn-based group has been using electric vehicles on a large scale to transport its parcels on the road for years. Over 15,000 StreetScooter electric transporters deliver goods to customers.
The Alice electric aircraft is developed and produced by Eviation, a manufacturer based in Washington State. The plane can be built as a cargo or passenger aircraft. In this version it can then accommodate up to nine travelers.