DHL now using electrical vans and trucks

DHL eCommerce continues to focus on sustainable transport. After the 1,500 electric vans that have been delivering in residential areas since this autumn, DHL has now also taken three electric rigids into use. A size of which there are not many driving in the Netherlands because the range for this size of transport still lags behind compared to smaller vehicles. DHL uses them for the supply of CityHubs and the transport of pallet shipments for business customers in Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam. In these cities, increasingly stringent environmental standards apply.

"DHL is not waiting for these environmental standards to actually be implemented, but is already gaining experience with electric vehicles. We also want to lead the way in this heavier segment," explains Roelof Hofman, COO of DHL eCommerce. The choice fell on the Volvo FL Electric with which DHL expects to achieve a range of about 240 kilometers. That is more than sufficient for the routes where they are specifically used.

More than 200 energy-efficient new trucks
In addition to the 3 electric rigids, DHL has also invested in 107 Volvo FM tractors, four Volvo FM rigids LHV and 88 Volvo FE rigids. The more than 200 vehicles have low fuel consumption and run on HVO100 diesel which emits up to 90% less emissions than regular diesel. They are mainly used for the supply and removal of the 16 sorting centres and the 140 CityHubs spread across the Netherlands.

Accelerated transition to HVO
Over longer distances, large electric transport is still a step too far. HVO offers a solution here as a vegetable, non-fossil fuel for the time being. "We want to switch our entire fleet to HVO diesel as soon as possible, which means that we still save up to 90% on CO2 emissions. This is in line with our policy of maximum reduction. The remaining 10% is eligible for our compensation policy," says Roelof Hofman. In order to achieve this in a delivery network that covers the whole of the Netherlands, the number of HVO filling stations must be expanded more quickly. DHL is consulting with fuel suppliers about this.

Positive working environment
DHL drivers were also involved in the choice of tractors and rigids. They tested different models and determined the extras with which the trucks are equipped. The good field of view of the truck also played an important role in the choice. In the cab, the doors and side panels are equipped with additional windows for a better overview and fewer blind spots. In addition, the trucks are equipped with camera systems for a 270-degree view around the truck. "Safety of fellow road users, especially in busy city traffic, is paramount. A good overview is crucial," says Roelof Hofman. 

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Written by

Ewout Blaauw

Director Corporate Communications