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DHL Express's electric cargo plane. Image: Courtesy of DHL Express

Logistics provider DHL Express is adding electric cargo planes to its fleet, becoming the first customer for Eviation, a Seattle-based electric aviation company.

Why it matters: As delivery on demand explodes, shipping and logistics providers like DHL are under pressure to make every mode of their operations more sustainable — aircraft, trucks, last-mile delivery vans, and even their buildings.

  • DHL has committed 7 billion euros ($8.3 billion at today's rate) by 2030 for steps to reduce its CO2 emissions, on its way to a zero emissions target by 2050.

Driving the news: DHL said today it has ordered 12 fully electric Alice cargo planes from Eviation, and expects to take delivery in 2024.

Details: Alice, which can be configured for cargo or passengers, requires 30 minutes or less to charge per flight hour and has a maximum range of about 500 miles.

  • It can be flown by a single pilot and carry up to 2,600 pounds, and can operate in environments where piston and turbine planes are currently used.
  • As with electric automobiles, fewer moving parts means reduced maintenance costs and increased reliability, according to Eviation.
  • Its operating software constantly monitors flight performance to ensure optimal efficiency. A first flight is scheduled for later this year.

What they're saying: “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 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.” 

What to watch: DHL plans to build several zero emission Alice feeder networks in the U.S., targeting the West Coast and Southeast U.S.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Nov 9, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Zoom in at COP26: Commercial giants pledge lower carbon emissions

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

One criticism of new pledges at COP26 is that they're vague and squishy, but a U.S.-led push to help decarbonize several major industries features specific commitments by corporate giants.

Driving the news: The burst of announcements included the First Movers Coalition.

3 hours ago - World

Biden will move U.S. troops to Eastern Europe "in the near term"

President Biden boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews on Jan. 28. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said on Friday he plans to move U.S. troops to Eastern European and NATO countries “in the near term.”

Driving the news: “Not too many” U.S. troops, Biden added in remarks to reporters at Joint Base Andrew upon returning from a trip to Pennsylvania. 

Updated 3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a potentially historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.