Aug. 3 (UPI) — Courier DHL Express announced on Tuesday that it’s buying several new all-electric planes with the intention of using them to deliver packages across the United States.
The Germany-based company said it will buy 12 fixed-wing “Alice” electric planes from U.S.-based startup Eviation.
Officials said the planes, which can carry 2,600 pounds of cargo and travel 250 mph, will be used to deliver to certain markets.
“We’re going to spread them out in between the West Coast and the East Coast,” DHL Express Americas CEO Mike Parra said, according to CNBC. “These Eviation electric planes will replace some of our current smaller feeder aircraft that we have in those markets.”
The primary factor in the buy, DHL said, is its commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The Alice aircraft, manufactured in Washington state, can fly for 500 miles on a single charge.
“Our investments always follow the objective of improving our carbon footprint,” DHL Express CEO John Pearson said in a statement.
“We have found the perfect partner with Eviation as they share our purpose, and together we will take off into a new era of sustainable aviation.”
DHL said it expects to begin flying the electric cargo planes in 2024.
The planes are made of 95% composite materials and are powered by two electric motors. It was unveiled two years ago at the Paris Air Show.
DHL’s announcement came one day after German startup Lilium announced a $1 billion deal to produce electric planes for Brazilian airline Azul.