Arlington, Wash.-based electric aircraft maker Eviation is set to deliver for DHL Express, announcing Tuesday that the logistics company has ordered 12 of Eviation’s fully electric Alice eCargo planes.
Eviation, located in Snohomish County north of Seattle, revealed in July that it has begun assembling the first production of a battery-powered Alice passenger plane and plans to fly it for the first time later this year.
DHL is aiming to deliver packages with a zero-emission fleet of planes, which are expected to be delivered in 2024.
“Our investments always follow the objective of improving our carbon footprint,” John Pearson, CEO of DHL Express, said in a news release. “We have found the perfect partner with Eviation as they share our purpose, and together we will take off into a new era of sustainable aviation.”
The first prototype for the Alice was unveiled at the Paris Air Show in June 2019. According to Eviation, Alice can be flown by a single pilot and will carry 2,600 pounds. It will require 30 minutes or less to charge per flight hour and have a maximum range of up to 440 nautical miles, making it ideal for feeder routes.
“With on-demand shopping and deliveries on a constant rise, Alice is enabling DHL to establish a clean, quiet and low-cost operation that will open up greater opportunities for more communities starting right here in the United States,” Eviation Executive Chairman Roei Ganzarski said in a statement.
The electrification of delivery operations is a major goal for companies looking to reduce carbon emissions. As pointed out by CNBC, FedEx has set the goal of having carbon neutral operations globally by 2040 and will spend more than $2 billion initially in three key areas: vehicle electrification, sustainable energy, and carbon sequestration. Amazon is also going big on the ground, investing billions in electric truck maker Rivian and committing to 100,000 of the startup’s delivery vans for its logistics fleet.