Thursday March 25, 2021 0 comments
LOVELAND/PLANTATION, FLA. -- Following a successful initial pilot program using nine Lightning Electric Ford Transit 350HD electric vans in the U.S. late last year, Florida-based DHL Express said it plans to deploy another 89 Lightning electric vehicles this year in New York and California.
Produced by Lightning eMotors, a designer and manufacturer of complete zero-emission-vehicle (ZEV) solutions for commercial and government fleets, the new electric vehicles are highly durable and capable of achieving 61 MPGe, compared to 13 MPG for similar gas-powered vans.
They also include proprietary telematics and analytics software, which will aid with route optimization, driver training and vehicle efficiencies.
“We’re aiming to improve the lives of people where they live and work, using clean pickup and delivery solutions -- such as electric vehicles and cargo cycles -- for our first- and last-mile services,” said DHL Express U.S. CEO Greg Hewitt.
“With the successful deployment of the first nine pilot vehicles, we are excited to expand our electric delivery van footprint and continue to drive forward our corporate roadmap to decarbonization.”
The new vans enhance an already robust alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) fleet for DHL Express in the U.S., which includes fully electric, hybrid-electric and clean diesel varieties -- in addition to low-power electric-assist e-Cargo Cycles. DHL also began piloting four electric tractor-trailer vehicles in the Los Angeles market, to haul goods to and from the DHL LAX Gateway and local service centers.
“These new electric vans are designed to better serve DHL customers and help couriers to more efficiently and effectively deliver packages,” said Tim Reeser, CEO of Lightning eMotors.
“At the same time, they are helping DHL to meet its commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve urban air quality, as well as reduce noise on the streets.
“The highly durable Lightning Electric Transit Vans include our proprietary telematics and analytics software, which will aid DHL with route optimization, driver training, route and vehicle efficiency,” Reeser added.
“DHL also has purchased DC fast chargers from our Lightning Energy division, which will ensure that the new vehicles are charged quickly and uptime maximized.”
“DHL went through an extensive review to identify the ideal vehicles for their urban last-mile delivery needs,” Reeser said. “Our flexible, modular design enabled us to tailor vehicles to DHL’s exact needs based on the environment they were going to operate in.
“The result is vehicles that are optimized for range, weather conditions, charging cycles, and driver behavior across a variety of specific circumstances.”
In late 2020, Lightning eMotors and GigCapital3, a special-purpose acquisition company or SPAC, announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for a business combination.
Upon closing, expected to occur during the second quarter of this year (subject to the approval of GigCapital3’s stockholders), the combined operating company will be named Lightning eMotors and will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol [“ZEV”].