Logistics giant DHL has welcomed a new set of zero-emission vehicles into its delivery fleet, today announcing plans to deploy 63 electric cargo vans acquired from electric mobility startup Workhorse. The deal is part of DHL's wider plan to clean up the first- and last-mile portions of its operations.

DHL has outlined plans to use clean transport solutions for 70 percent of its first- and last-mile journeys by 2025, and reduce its emissions to zero by 2050. And it has taken some noteworthy steps to that end, investing in the development of its own electric vehicles, including vans and drones.

It is not the first delivery titan to turn to Workhorse in an effort to clean up its act. FedEx recently collaborated with the company to put the first fuel cell electric delivery van on the road in North America, while UPS also bought 50 of its electric trucks back in February.

The model to catch the eye of DHL is Workhorse's NGen-1000, an electric delivery vehicle with a 100-mile (160-km) range, along with low floors and high ceilings for 1,008 cubic feet (28.54 cu m) of storage space.

In November of 2017, Workhorse revealed a version of the N-Gen van with the ability to launch a drone from its roof. This vehicle, like similar ones from Mercedes-Benz and UPS, are imagined as a way for drones to handle out-of-the-way drop offs while a driver continues making other deliveries on the road. These don't appear to feature in DHL's plans for its new trucks, however – at least for now.

It has acquired 63 of Workhorse's NGen-1000 trucks in total, with the first 30 set to enter service in the San Francisco Bay area.

"This year alone, nearly 30 percent of our new vehicles will be alternative fuel," says Greg Hewitt, CEO of DHL Express U.S. "We're excited about the technologies that continue to emerge in this area and how they are benefiting the logistics industry."

Source: Workhorse

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