Berlin: DHL Group launches Volvo e-trucks with €2.3 m in funding

Deutsche Post DHL has presented the latest addition to the zero-emission fleet in Germany. 13 electric trucks delivered by Volvo are now out in Berlin to collect mail from commercial clients. The German government funded the rollout with over two million euros.

DPDHL opted for small trucks of the type Volvo FL Electric. The two-axle vehicles have a gross weight of 16.7 tonnes, up to 130 kW of power and a range of up to 300 km.

The trucks collect letters and parcels from major customers and Deutsche Post branches in the Berlin area and distribute them to depots in the capital, according to the logistics provider. The trucks will also pick up items from the bases and deliver them to recipients.

Charging happens overnight at DC pillars delivered by Elexon and Ekoenergetyka, among others, on the premises of the Schönefeld mail centre, near the BER airport. Each Volvo truck can take a maximum of 150 kW, but there is no need to push such charging powers when recharging overnight.

Deutsche Post DHL has had experience with this model since May 2022. The company announced at the time it would procure 44 Volvo electric trucks in Europe, including 40 FE Electric and FL Electric. The first six units joined DHL Parcel’s fleet in the UK last winter and have been on the road in London since.

Volvo released the FL and FE Electric trucks in November 2019. The 16.7-tonne FL is the lightest EV truck in the range, while the FE Electric is a 27-tonne truck. Heavy-duty 40-tonne e-trucks are also available now. Volvo Trucks announced a major battery update for the FL Electric this June. However, DPDHL will receive older generation models since trucks using the new batteries will not be delivered until autumn.

Since Deutsche Post DHL received federal funding, Minister of Transport Volker Wissing attended the launch event in Berlin. “As a German company with global appeal, Deutsche Post DHL is now leading the way and focusing on e-trucks,” said Wissing. “In the current funding round, we are putting around 7,000 climate-friendly commercial vehicles on the road and supporting a good 1,000 companies – not only from the logistics sector.”

Nikola Hagleitner, Member of the Board of Management for Post & Parcel Germany at DHL Group, said: “In 2022 alone, it was around 700 million euros that we spent on electromobility, but also on CO2-neutral operating sites – this year, a further 500 million euros are planned.”

Globally, DHL Group targets a share of 60% of electric vehicles in logistics by 2030 and will operate more than 80,000 electric vehicles within ten years. Deutsche Post DHL is also involved in several initiatives, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Climate Group’s EV100 initiative and the Science-Based Target initiative (SBTi).

For years, the company manufactured its own delivery vehicle, the StreetScooter, reasoning traditional OEMs were making no other suitable electric vans. Since selling the business to Luxembourg’s holding Odin Automotive in January 2022, DPDHL relies on external vehicle partners. Volvo Trucks is among them, as are Ford Pro and Mercedes, as reported.

Additional reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany. (in German)


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