Plantation, Fla. – DHL Express – the world’s leading provider of international express shipping services – continues making investments to meet its ambitious goals for emissions reduction and climate protection. Following a successful initial pilot program using nine Lightning Electric Ford Transit 350HD electric vans in the U.S. late last year, the company plans to deploy another 89 electric vehicles this year in New York and California.
Produced by Lightning eMotors, a designer and manufacturer of complete zero-emission-vehicle (ZEV) solutions for commercial and government fleets, the new electric vehicles are highly durable and capable of achieving 61 MPGe, compared to 13 MPG for similar gas-powered vans. They also include proprietary telematics and analytics software, which will aid with route optimization, driver training and vehicle efficiencies.
“We’re aiming to improve the lives of people where they live and work, using clean pickup and delivery solutions – such as electric vehicles and cargo cycles – for our first- and last-mile services,” said DHL Express U.S. CEO Greg Hewitt. “With the successful deployment of the first nine pilot vehicles, we are excited to expand our electric delivery van footprint and continue to drive forward our corporate roadmap to decarbonization.”
The new vans enhance an already robust alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) fleet for DHL Express in the U.S., which includes fully electric, hybrid-electric and clean diesel varieties – in addition to low-power electric-assist e-Cargo Cycles. DHL also began piloting four electric tractor-trailer vehicles in the Los Angeles market, to haul goods to and from the DHL LAX Gateway and local service centers.
“These new electric vans are designed to better serve DHL customers and help couriers to more efficiently and effectively deliver packages,” said Tim Reeser, CEO of Lightning eMotors. “At the same time, they are helping DHL to meet its commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve urban air quality, as well as reduce noise on the streets.
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“The highly durable Lightning Electric Transit Vans include our proprietary telematics and analytics software, which will aid DHL with route optimization, driver training, route and vehicle efficiency,” Reeser added. “DHL also has purchased DC fast chargers from our Lightning Energy division, which will ensure that the new vehicles are charged quickly and uptime maximized.”
On March 22, Deutsche Post DHL Group announced an accelerated roadmap to decarbonization, which includes investing a total of 7 billion euros (Opex and Capex) over the next 10 years in measures to reduce its CO2 emissions.
“DHL went through an extensive review to identify the ideal vehicles for their urban last-mile delivery needs,” Reeser said. “Our flexible, modular design enabled us to tailor vehicles to DHL’s exact needs based on the environment they were going to operate in. The result is vehicles that are optimized for range, weather conditions, charging cycles, and driver behavior across a variety of specific circumstances.”
Lightning eMotors, based in Loveland, Colorado, designs and manufactures zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, including delivery trucks, shuttle buses, passenger vans, chassis-cab models, city transit buses, and motor coaches. In addition to Transit passenger and cargo vans, Lightning’s products include all-electric vehicles based on the Ford E-450 shuttle bus and cutaway models, Ford F-53/59, Ford F-550 cargo trucks and buses, GM, Isuzu, and Hino Class 6 trucks. A new all-electric repower for motor coaches also is available, along with repower powertrains for 30-foot, 35-foot, and 40-foot transit buses.
In late 2020, Lightning eMotors and GigCapital3, a special-purpose acquisition company or SPAC, announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for a business combination. Upon closing, expected to occur during the second quarter of this year (subject to the approval of GigCapital3’s stockholders), the combined operating company will be named Lightning eMotors and will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol [“ZEV”].
DHL is the leading global brand in the logistics industry. DHL divisions offer an unrivalled portfolio of logistics services ranging from national and international parcel delivery, e-commerce shipping and fulfillment solutions, international express, road, air and ocean transport to industrial supply chain management. With about 400,000 employees in more than 220 countries and territories worldwide, DHL connects people and businesses securely and reliably, enabling global sustainable trade flows. With specialized solutions for growth markets and industries including technology, life sciences and healthcare, engineering, manufacturing & energy, auto-mobility and retail, DHL is decisively positioned as “The logistics company for the world.”
DHL is part of Deutsche Post DHL Group. The Group generated revenues of more than 66 billion euros in 2020. With sustainable business practices and a commitment to society and the environment, the Group makes a positive contribution to the world. Deutsche Post DHL Group aims to achieve zero-emissions logistics by 2050.
About Lightning eMotors
Lightning eMotors provides complete zero-emission-vehicle (ZEV) solutions for commercial fleets – from Class 3 cargo vans, passenger vans, and ambulances, to Class 4 shuttles buses and box trucks, to Class 6 work trucks, Class 7 city buses and Class 8 motorcoaches. The Lightning eMotors team designs, engineers, customizes and manufactures electric vehicles to support the wide array of fleet customer needs, with a full suite of telematics, analytics and charging solutions to simplify the buying and ownership experience and maximize uptime and energy efficiency.