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DHL will start operating electric cargo aircraft within the next three years. DHL Express is looking to form the world's first all-electric air cargo network. To fulfil this, DHL has placed an order for 12 electric cargo aircraft made by Eviation, which is an American electric aviation brand.
Electric vehicles have been the talk of the town for a few years now. EVs are now becoming commonplace with electric scooters and cars becoming more popular now, than ever before. However, the aviation industry too has quietly been working on electric aircraft.
Aviation is one of the most polluting industries in the world. With thousands of aircraft taking to the skies each day, the amount of pollution caused by them is massive. A few operators have been taking steps to cut down on the pollution by using more efficient aircraft and electric vehicles on ground.'
DHL, as it turns out, is one of those environment-conscious companies. With a fleet size of 186 aircraft, DHL is now looking to cut down on pollution. DHL has aimed at Zero emissions by 2050 and the steps it has been taking in recent times all leads to this very goal.
The DPDH group has announced a total investment of Seven Billion Euros by 2030 to reduce CO2 emissions. This investment will be used in the purchase of sustainable aviation fuels, purchase of electric vehicles for its last-mile delivery fleet, and to create carbon-neutral buildings.
An electric aircraft fleet is the next logical step, and DHL is working on the same. The company has placed an order for 12 small electric cargo aircraft from Eviation. It is called the Eviation Alice eCargo aircraft and it is expected to make its maiden flight later this year.
Post its maiden flight, the aircraft will be put through several tests before entering production. DHL's fleet of 12 aircraft are expected to be delivered in 2024. The aircraft is said to have a maximum load hauling capacity of 1,200 kilograms and a maximum range of 815 kilometres. The company claims that it requires under 30 minutes of charging time per flight hour.
This seems like the perfect replacement for the small piston-engined aircraft currently used by DHL to transport cargo from large cargo hubs to smaller airports. Thanks to the fewer moving parts, the aircraft will also have lesser maintenance costs.
Thoughts On DHL Moving To Electric Cargo Aircraft
Electric vehicles are the future for on-road transportation and electric aircraft are the future for our skies. However, due to range constraints, the large trans-continental airliners will still be in use for the years to come, albeit with greener fuel and more efficient engines. The smaller intra-state routes though, will be taken over by electric aircraft.