DHL Express adds 63 EVs for U.S. market

DHL Express’ new electric-powered vans (Photo:DHL Express)

DHL Express is adding 63 electric-powered delivery vans to its U.S. fleet, the German-based carrier said late yesterday.

The NGEN-1000 vehicles, built by Workhorse Group, will be rolled out in the San Francisco Bay area, Long Island City, New York, DHL said. The latter location is scheduled to be one of the two new U.S. headquarters for e-tailer, Inc. (the other being Crystal City, Virginia). The first 30 vehicles will be deployed in San Francisco during the year. It is unclear if all of the remaining 33 will be deployed in Long Island City and Sunnyvale, Calif. DHL Express did not mention any other U.S. cities in the planned rollout. All 63 will be in operation by year-end.

The unit of German logistics giant DHL already operates 56 electric-powered vans in the U.S. and has five electric-powered heavy-duty tractors on order.

By 2025, DHL Express plans to use so-called “clean” energy vehicles like electric vans and bikes to make 70 percent of its first- and last-mile services worldwide. DHL Express does not operate domestic express service in the U.S.; instead, it serves the U.S. market as part of its international network.

The Workhorse NGEN-1000 went into production in October 2018. The light-weight electric delivery vehicle’s curb weight is 4,000 pounds – less than one-half of what a traditional diesel step-van weighs – while carrying the same cubic footage of storage (1,000 cubic feet). The lightweight design helps the vehicle’s 100-mile range, which also has a smaller battery pack than previous designs. The smaller battery pack reduces the cost of the vehicle and also reduces the cost of the charging infrastructure. In addition, the NGEN-1000 features a grill-less front end.

In addition, the vehicle has a low floor with a 7.25-inch ground clearance, making loading and unloading easier, and entry and egress safer. The NGEN-1000 features a front-mounted hub motor, which provides a tighter turning radius than comparable vehicles and all-wheel drive.

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Mark Solomon

Formerly the Executive Editor at DC Velocity, Mark Solomon joined FreightWaves as Managing Editor of Freight Markets. Solomon began his journalistic career in 1982 at Traffic World magazine, ran his own public relations firm (Media Based Solutions) from 1994 to 2008, and has been at DC Velocity since then. Over the course of his career, Solomon has covered nearly the whole gamut of the transportation and logistics industry, including trucking, railroads, maritime, 3PLs, and regulatory issues. Solomon witnessed and narrated the rise of Amazon and XPO Logistics and the shift of the U.S. Postal Service from a mail-focused service to parcel, as well as the exponential, e-commerce-driven growth of warehouse square footage and omnichannel fulfillment.

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