DHL Express has committed to purchase 12 fully electric eCargo planes developed by Washington state-based electric aircraft maker Eviation. Eviation’s Alice aircraft is a single-pilot flyer capable in cargo variant of hauling loads of up to 1,200 kg.

Eviation announced last month that it hopes to have a passenger version in production later this year. The first order from DHL Express is expected to be delivered in 2024, with the company revealing it is planning to set up “an unparalleled electric Express network.”

“With Alice’s range and capacity, this is a fantastic sustainable solution for our global network and will be targeted for operations in the southeast and west coast of the United States,” said EVP of Global Network Operations and Aviation at DHL Express, Travis Cobb.

“Our aspiration is to make a substantial contribution in reducing our carbon footprint, and these advancements in fleet and technology will go a long way in achieving further carbon reductions. For us and our customers, this is a very important step in our decarbonisation journey and a step forward for the aviation industry as a whole.”

“Our investments always follow the objective of improving our carbon footprint,” John Pearson, CEO of DHL Express, said in a news release. “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.”

The first prototype for the Alice was unveiled at the Paris Air Show in June 2019. According to Eviation, Alice will require 30 minutes or less to charge per flight hour and have a maximum range of up to 440 nautical miles, making it ideal for feeder routes.

“With on-demand shopping and deliveries on a constant rise, Alice is enabling DHL to establish a clean, quiet and low-cost operation that will open up greater opportunities for more communities starting right here in the United States,” Eviation Executive Chairman Roei Ganzarski said in a statement.