Logistics services provider DHL plans to roll out an all “green” fleet of commercial delivery vehicles in Manhattan to help reduce its impact on the city’s environment. By September 2011, DHL Express will operate 30 American-made, battery-powered electric vans and 50 hybrid trucks that will cut down fossil fuel use and in combination reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 50% each year in comparison 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,” explains Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL.
The multi-million 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% by 2020, compared to 2007 base levels.
The two types of green vehicles to be used in New York City by DHL Express are being manufactured in the U.S. by Azure Dynamics, a producer of hybrid electric and electric commercial vehicles. 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% while emissions will be reduced by about 30%.
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.