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DHL Express Deploys Nearly 100 New Lightning Electric Delivery Vans in US

DHL Express, providing international shipping services, continues to make investments to meet its goals for emissions reduction and climate protection. After a pilot program with Lightning Electric vans, DHL plans to deploy another 89 EVs in New York and California.

Produced by Lightning eMotors, a designer and manufacturer of complete zero-emission-vehicle (ZEV) solutions for commercial and government fleets, the new electric vehicles are highly durable and capable of achieving 61 MPGe, compared to 13 MPG for similar gas-powered vans. They also include proprietary telematics and analytics software, which will aid with route optimization, driver training, and vehicle efficiencies.

DHL Express US CEO Greg Hewitt says DHL aims to improve lives using clean solutions where people live and work. After a successful pilot program, DHL will expand its EV footprint and move toward its goal of decarbonization, he adds.


The new vans enhance an already robust alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) fleet for DHL Express in the US. The fleet includes fully electric, hybrid-electric, and clean diesel varieties—in addition to low-power electric-assist e-Cargo Cycles. DHL also piloted four electric tractor-trailer vehicles in Los Angeles to haul goods to and from the DHL LAX Gateway.

“These new electric vans are designed to better serve DHL customers and help couriers to more efficiently and effectively deliver packages,” says Tim Reeser, CEO of Lightning eMotors. “At the same time, they are helping DHL to meet its commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve urban air quality, as well as reduce noise on the streets.

“The highly durable Lightning Electric Transit Vans include our proprietary telematics and analytics software, which will aid DHL with route optimization, driver training, route, and vehicle efficiency,” Reeser adds.

DHL also purchased DC fast chargers from Lightning eMotors’ Lightning Energy division, Reeser says. Fast chargers maximize uptime, ensuring that the new vehicles charge quickly.


On March 22, Deutsche Post DHL Group announced an accelerated roadmap to decarbonization. The plan includes investing a total of 7 billion euros over the next 10 years in measures to reduce emissions.

“DHL went through an extensive review to identify the ideal vehicles for their urban last-mile delivery needs,” Reeser says. Lightning’s flexible design allows it to tailor vehicles to DHL’s needs based on the environment they operate, he adds. As a result, DHL optimizes vehicles for range, weather conditions, charging cycles, and driver behavior across a variety of circumstances.”

Lightning eMotors designs and manufactures zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. Models range from delivery trucks, shuttle buses, passenger vans, chassis-cab models, city transit buses, and motor coaches. Along with Transit passenger and cargo vans, Lightning’s products include vehicles based on Ford E-450 shuttle bus and cutaway models. Lightning also includes vehicles based on Ford F-53/59, F-550 cargo trucks and buses, GM, Isuzu, and Hino Class 6 trucks. An all-electric repower for motor coaches also is available, along with repower powertrains for 30-ft, 35-ft, and 40-ft transit buses.

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