DHL Express has become the first to order 12 fully electric Alice eCargo aircraft from Seattle-based Eviation. With this engagement DHL aims to set up an electric express network and make a pioneering step into a sustainable aviation future. Eviation's Alice enables airlines, both cargo and passenger, 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,” 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. Founded in 1969, DHL Express has been known as a pioneer in the aviation industry for decades. We have found the perfect partner with Eviation as it shares our purpose, and together we will take off into a new era of sustainable aviation.”
The Alice can be flown by a single pilot and will carry 2,600 lbs. It will require 30 minutes or less to charge per flight hour and have a maximum range of up to 440 nm. The Alice will operate in all environments currently serviced by piston and turbine aircraft. Alice's 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.
“From day one, we set an audacious goal to transform the aviation industry and create a new era with electric aircraft,” says 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.”
The aircraft is ideal 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. The logistics company plans to build several zero emission Alice feeder networks in the U.S., most likely starting in California.
“My compliments to Eviation on the innovative development of the fully electric Alice aircraft,” comments Travis Cobb, EVP global network operations and aviation for DHL Express. “With Alice's range and capacity, this is a fantastic sustainable solution for our global network and will be targeted for operations in the southeast and west coast of the US. Our aspiration is to make a substantial contribution to 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 decarbonisation journey and a step forward for the aviation industry as a whole.”
The Alice has been specifically designed so that it can be configured for cargo or passengers, and is on track for its first flight later this year. Business charter operators will be following the progress of this type of new electric aircraft with great interest.