DHL orders electric cargo planes

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Twelve Eviation Alice electric-powered small aircraft are to be purchased by German express mail company DHL for its express business. It is planned that the manufacturer will hand over the freighter version of the type to the integrator in 2024, reports. The Alice, which can be flown with a single pilot, will have a maximum range of 815 kilometres with 1200 kilograms of cargo, and will be used by DHL Express on the shortest routes.

Powering the aircraft batteries will be done during loading and unloading, with a reported 30 minutes of charging every hour flown. Commenting on the deal, DHL Express chief executive John Pearson said: ‘Electric propulsion is a decisive step forward in environmentally friendly transport in all segments of logistics. The company will spend a total of €7 billion to reduce its carbon emissions by 2030, mainly on electrifying its last-mile delivery vehicles, buying alternative fuels and making its buildings climate neutral.

Israeli-American Eviation’s Alice, an all-electric aircraft, was unveiled at the 2019 Paris Air Show and, following technical problems, was redesigned late last year to deliver performance much closer to reality. It is expected to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals by the end of 2023, after which it could enter service.

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