Hello there! Let‘s dive into the details behind logistics leader DHL‘s move to purchase 2,000 electric delivery vans from Ford. This agreement represents a major step towards sustainable parcel transport for both companies.
DHL Ships Over 1.6 Billion Parcels a Year – And Growing
Just how massive is DHL‘s global delivery operation? Get this – last year they transported over 1.6 billion shipments worldwide! To put that into perspective, that‘s nearly 5 million parcels moved each day on average. Impressive, right?
In 2021 alone, DHL increased its shipping volume by 3.4% compared to the previous year. Demand just keeps growing for DHL‘s logistics services as global commerce expands.
With so many vehicles shuttling so many packages to doorsteps daily, DHL‘s fleet inevitably generates substantial carbon emissions. So as the world‘s largest logistics provider, DHL believes it has an obligation to lead in sustainable delivery.
Back in 2008, DHL made the bold commitment to reach zero logistics-related emissions by 2050. They launched a sustainability initiative called GoGreen to make that vision a reality.
Over the past 14 years, DHL has steadily added electric vehicles into its worldwide delivery and pickup fleets. But last March, they decided it was time to kick their eco-friendly transition into higher gear.
DHL‘s leadership announced an accelerated roadmap to vehicle electrification. They boosted DHL‘s planned investment towards clean transport to a whopping €7 billion between now and 2030!
Most critically, DHL now aims for a full 60% of its global last-mile delivery fleet to operate on electric drive by the end of this decade. Let me put it in concrete terms – this means deploying around 80,000 electric vans across DHL‘s sprawling operations within 8 years!
DHL‘s bulk order for 2,000 electric Ford E-Transit vans marks a major milestone along the sustainability journey they‘ve embarked on. Now let‘s look at what makes the E-Transit a good match for eco-conscious hauling.
Ford‘s E-Transit: An Electric Van Ready for Eco-Delivery
Ford introduced the E-Transit as its very first fully electric cargo van back in late 2021. Right off the bat, Ford designed and engineered the E-Transit specifically for eco-friendly commercial use.
On a full charge, the E-Transit‘s battery provides up to 126 miles of range. While not suitable for long-haul transportation, that‘s plenty for local deliveries and service calls in metro areas.
Under the skin, the E-Transit shares much with Ford‘s conventional diesel-powered Transit vans used by fleets worldwide. It comes in similar configurations like low-roof, high-roof, short-wheelbase and long-wheelbase models.
Cargo capacity spans from a minimum of 246 cubic feet on up to 487 cubic feet maximum. Payload tops out at 4,290 lbs, meaning the E-Transit can haul some seriously heavy loads.
Ford built in clever features with commercial owners and drivers in mind. The available Pro Power Onboard system lets you tap into the van‘s battery to run power tools, lights, winches and more. Never worry about draining your drill battery on a job again!
There are over 20,000 public charging plugs across Ford‘s North American BlueOval Charge Network that E-Transit drivers can access to recharge while out on the road.
While its range makes the E-Transit optimal for local deliveries, it provides businesses a cost-effective electric option ready to support their urban routes. In fact, the E-Transit has already become America‘s best-selling commercial EV. Now it‘s taking Europe by storm too.
DHL Reserves 2,000 E-Transits to Test Capabilities at Scale
For major logistics players like DHL, switching to EVs just makes good business sense. Electric vans have lower operating and maintenance costs compared to traditional diesel-powered models.
Instant torque from electric motors allows vans to scoot quickly away from stops even when loaded down with hundreds of parcels. And EVs greatly reduce noise and emissions from urban delivery compared to conventional vans.
On top of that, governments like the U.S. now offer subsidies to offset the acquisition cost premium of electric commercial vehicles. The Inflation Reduction Act, for instance, provides a tax credit up to $7,500 for every light-duty electric truck sold – including cargo vans similar to the E-Transit.
Between the lower operating costs and available subsidies, DHL can realize real cost savings by transitioning sizable portions of its fleet to electric drive.
DHL‘s upfront reservation of 2,000 E-Transit vans gives the company a substantial volume of EVs while capturing those available tax credits. As agreed between the companies, Ford will deliver all 2,000 of these vans to DHL by the end of 2023.
The majority of the reserved E-Transits are destined for DHL‘s extensive European operations. That makes sense, since Ford has rapidly scaled up E-Transit production in Europe to keep pace with intense demand.
Despite supply chain challenges, Ford is on track to manufacture 27,000 E-Transits in Europe in 2023 – triple last year‘s volume! DHL has already taken delivery of an initial batch of E-Transits to incorporate into its current fleet as of late 2022. The remainder will follow over the next 12 months as Ford churns out more.
DHL Also Expanding Its Electric Fleet Closer to Home
While thousands of E-Transits will soon fan out across European roadways in DHL yellow, the logistics firm is also putting larger numbers of Ford‘s electric vans into service closer to home.
DHL Express just announced the purchase of 45 E-Transit vans earmarked for its collection and delivery operations around Palo Alto, right in the heart of Silicon Valley. Slated for deployment by year‘s end, this represents DHL Express‘ single largest U.S. investment in electric vehicles to date!
And there are more to come – between 2023 and 2024, DHL intends to further grow its domestic zero-emissions fleet by commissioning another 130 electric delivery vehicles.
The company strongly hinted that many of these upcoming vans will also be Ford E-Transit models. That‘s not surprising, given Ford‘s production capacity for the van at its Kansas City plant in the U.S.
Home to tech giants and startups alike, California has established some of the most aggressive targets in the country to phase out gas-powered commercial vehicles and transition to green transportation.
Logistics leaders like DHL are stepping up to help drive the shift to EVs in the state. And the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act provides another boost. The IRA‘s tax credits for commercial EVs apply only to vehicles assembled in North America – giving American-built models like the E-Transit a competitive edge.
Ford Pro Services Help Maximize EV Uptime and Efficiency
Expanding electric fleets is central to DHL‘s sustainability strategy. But the company also needs to keep those EVs charged up and on the road delivering packages, not stuck at charging stations!
This is where Ford brings more than just vehicles to the table. Through its Ford Pro ecosystem, Ford provides DHL with specialized services to smoothly handle large-scale fleet electrification.
Sophisticated Ford Pro telematics enable real-time monitoring of DHL‘s E-Transits. Detailed data on each van‘s location, status and battery charge gets analyzed using machine learning algorithms. The system then guides optimal route planning and charging coordination across the entire fleet.
Furthermore, Ford Pro consultants work directly with DHL‘s staff to customize charging solutions as their electric fleet expands. Strategic overnight charging that balances battery life, off-peak energy rates and electric grid capacity requires expertise – exactly what Ford Pro offers.
By tapping into Ford‘s purpose-built fleet management resources, DHL can focus on quickly and efficiently picking up and delivering parcels while Ford handles the E-Transit logistics. That comprehensive support makes choosing Ford‘s electric van even more compelling.
Outlook: Expanding Partnership Down the Electrified Road
Although 2,000 vans makes for a sizable order, it still only represents a fraction of the electric vehicles DHL must deploy to reach its sustainability goals. This deal fulfills an immediate need to accelerate DHL‘s fleet upgrades while cementing Ford‘s role as a strategic electrification partner.
If the E-Transit performs well for DHL‘s operations, I‘d expect the company to rely more heavily on the van as it works towards its target of 60% fleet electrification by 2030. Tens of thousands more e-vans are still needed at DHL‘s global scale!
Other intriguing electric van options exist too – like the BrightDrop Zevo 600 that DHL utilizes in Canada. Yet the E-Transit‘s proven design and Ford Pro‘s integrated support combine to make a compelling case.
DHL‘s commitment to carbon-neutral logistics depends on transitioning its vehicles to zero-emissions technologies. For automakers like Ford, supplying EVs for this fast-growing commercial market is both an opportunity and an obligation.
As this deal clearly shows, DHL and Ford are well down the road to sustainable parcel delivery together. Exciting times ahead!