DHL Express announced that following a successful initial pilot program with nine Lightning Electric Ford Transit 350HD electric vans deployed in the U.S., the company is ordering more of those from Lightning eMotors.

The plan in to deploy 89 more (98 total) in New York and California by the end of this year. Together with van conversions, DHL Express is purchasing from Lightning eMotors also the DC charging equipment.

According to the press release, the converted Ford vans are "capable of achieving 61 MPGe, compared to 13 MPG for similar gas-powered vans" The vehicles also have proprietary telematics and analytics software, useful for fleets like DHL.

Lightning eMotors: Lightning Electric Ford Transit 350HD electric van in DHL fleet
Lightning eMotors: Lightning Electric Ford Transit 350HD electric van in DHL fleet

DHL Express U.S. CEO Greg Hewitt said:

"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. 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 Deutsche Post DHL Group announced earlier this month a bold 10-year, €7 billion investment plan, which include deployment of up to 80,000 "zero-emission e-vehicle fleet" by 2030, resulting in 60% electrification of the fleet.

"By 2030, 60 percent of global delivery vehicles for the last mile are to be electrically powered, hence more than 80,000 e-vehicles will be on the road. In 2020, the figure was 18 percent. "

It's a great opportunity for companies like Lightning eMotors, which InsideEVs had an opportunity to visit in February.

The new version of the vans will be powered by Proterra. The current version was recently toured by Out of Spec Reviews' Kyle Conner:

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