DHL Express, the world’s leading express service provider, ordered 12 all-electric Cargo planes from Israeli company Eviation. The plane, Alice eCargo, is flown by a single pilot and transports up to 2,600 lbs of cargo to a distance of 506 miles, where each flight hour requires 30 minutes of charging. Eviation said that an Alice planes operate in all environments currently serviced by standard piston aircraft, but its maintenance costs are lower.
Last month Eviation announced the completion of Alice’s commercial model. It expects to deliver the first Alice plane to DHL Express in 2024. DHL Express is a division of the German Deutsche Post. It transports 1.5 billion items annually from and to 220 countries around the globe. The company’s fleet holds 250 Airbus, ATR & Boeing planes.
DHL Express, together with its parent company, Deutsche Post, took several initiatives at the past years in order to accomplish the company’s vision regarding zero emissions. Major steps in the path to fulfill this vision are the electrification of last-mile delivery fleet, and the announcement of zero emissions target by 2050. This current partnering with Eviation is another major step towards realization of this vision.
Electric aviation revolution
Eviation was founded in 2015 by CEO Omer Bar-Yohay and Chairman Aviv Tzidon, with an ambitious vision of to revolutionize the Global aviation industry with an innovative all-electric plane powered by thousands of Lithium batteries and capable of of transferring passengers to distant places, with faster schedules and lower costs. Two years ago, at the Paris Air Show, Eviation presented its first Alice prototype. It was designed for nine-sitters plus 2 crew members, and could fly for 625 miles with a single battery charge.
The plane is activated by 70,000 Lithium batteries scattered in its body, also serve for the purpose of balancing the frame. The total capacity of the batteries is 980 kWh, which allows for a 460 miles distance at a 250 MPH speed. The plane is equipped by 2 electric motors from the Seattle-based MagniX Company, which its CEO, Roei Ganzarski, serves also as Eviation Executive Chairman.
Eviation exposed its first commercial customer in 2019: the American Cape Air Company, which is one of the largest regional airlines in the U.S. Cape Air committed to a double-digit purchase option for Alice planes, and following certification in 2021, Eviation will begin shipping the aircraft for commercial use in 2022. Since then, Eviation reported 2 additional customers committed to purchase a total of 150 planes.
In 2017, the Singapore-based Clermont Group purchased Eviation, which announced its commitment to transform Eviation’s vision of electric flight into a commercial reality. Clermont’s owner is the New Zealand-born billionaire and philanthropist Richard Chandler, which carries the flag of promoting electric aviation globally.