DHL introduces ‘green’ fleet

DHL, which has an office in Grand Cayman, is rolling out an all ‘green’ fleet of commercial delivery vehicles in Manhattan to help reduce its impact on New York City’s environment, a company press release says.

Frank Appel, Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Post DHL, announced the company’s initiative in New York City as he presented the inaugural vehicles in the 80-vehicle fleet. By September, DHL Express will operate 30 American-made, battery-powered electric vans and 50 hybrid trucks that are said to cut down fossil fuel use and reduce CO2 emissions by more than 50 per cent each year compared to conventional vehicles.

“Sustainability, especially the reduction of carbon emissions, is a central aspect of our business and an integral part of our corporate strategy…,” said Appel. “As customers worldwide are increasingly demanding greener logistics, sustainable business procedures and initiatives like the one we are launching today will – at the same time – also enhance the profitability of our business.”

GoGreen strategy

The multimillion-dollar investment in the environmentally friendly vehicles is an integral part of the Deutsche Post DHL Group’s global GoGreen strategy, which has the goal of improving the company’s carbon efficiency worldwide by 30 per cent by 2020, compared to 2007 base levels.

In a large international city like New York, company officials say, this fleet investment allows DHL to serve customers with sustainable solutions and improved resource efficiency.

”New Yorkers can have cleaner air and efficient freight delivery, thanks to this effort to reduce the emissions from the delivery trucks our just-in-time economy depends on,” said David Bragdon, director of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability for New York City.

The two types of green vehicles to be used in New York City by DHL Express are being manufactured in the US by Azure Dynamics. Ford Motor Co. has produced the chassis for these vehicles. The Balance Hybrid Electric vehicle components combine Azure’s hybrid powertrain with a Ford E450 chassis. By converting DHL’s existing Ford E450s into hybrids, the vehicle’s fuel economy will improve by up to 40 per cent, officials say, while emissions are expected to be reduced by about 30 per cent.

Azure will also integrate its Force Drive electric powertrain into new Ford Transit Connect vans. Using an advanced lithium-ion battery, the van can achieve a range of up to 80 miles on a single charge and can be recharged overnight. The Transit Connect Electric is virtually silent, thus reducing exterior and interior noise, and has zero tailpipe emissions.

“Our investment in these new green vehicles supports a more energy-efficient, low-emissions economy [in the US],” said Ian Clough, CEO for DHL Express US.