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Europe

DHL Orders Some Volvo Electric Trucks

All over the world, if you want to get something there fast (especially documents), DHL are usually the folks to go to. Americans might not know how big they are, largely because the yellow vans disappeared from our roads in 2008, but before that happened, they were known for being lightning fast. That’s still the case in places where they’re still doing big business. Now, DHL is not only going to be fast, but clean, with the order of 44 electric trucks from Volvo.

“We are committed to meet growing customer demand for green and sustainable solutions and achieve our long-term goal of net zero emissions by 2050. As a logistics service provider, the conversion of our vehicle fleet is an important lever to help us avoid CO2 emissions on the road as well. Several of our divisions will thus benefit from this agreement with Volvo Trucks,” explains Pablo Ciano, Executive Vice President for Corporate Development at Deutsche Post DHL Group.

Electric trucks aren’t a new thing for the parcel company. It has been testing and using an electric truck in London since 2020, and the experience has been overwhelmingly positive. The truck did an amazing job for lower costs and lower emissions making last-mile deliveries in the West End shopping district, so DHL decided to expand the program.

The 44 trucks will go all over Europe, with 40 of them doing much the same as the truck in London. By making final deliveries with Volvo FE and Volvo FL trucks, emissions will be removed from neighborhoods and business districts. This is expected to save 600 tons of CO2 and 225,000 liters of diesel fuel.

The company also plans to put four trucks on long-haul routes in Europe. These four vehicles be Volvo FM trucks, and they’ll be running routes in the UK.

Volvo and DHL didn’t stop at just arranging a truck sale, though. Volvo is going to give DHL vital information and work with it to maximize the good it gets out of the trucks. They’re also going to get valuable quantitative and experiential data from the operation of the trucks, and use that to help future customers looking to deploy Volvo electric vehicles in the field.

“DHL is an important global logistics provider, committed to reduce its impact on climate change. Together we can make a difference for the better and I’m proud we will work in the spirit of partnership, aiming to reach our science-based targets to reduce our climate impacts,” says Roger Alm, President at Volvo Trucks.

44 trucks might not seem like a lot, but we have to keep in mind that just-in-time delivery and the rapid overnight or faster movement of goods and documents requires a lot of dependability and precision scheduling. If DHL makes a mistake with new trucks the way Albuquerque screwed up buying electric buses, it could cause serious problems for their customers, who count on DHL to get the job done. So, expect to see logistics companies dip their toes in the water first and then slowly get in the pool rather than jumping right in.

DHL had a good experience with the first toe dip (in London in 2020), so now it is stepping in and looking at getting in and swimming. This is progress, even if it’s a little slow.