DHL expands City Hub electric vehicle program in The Hague

As the next step in its goal to make inner-city deliveries more environmentally friendly, DHL Express expanded its City Hub concept to The Hague, Netherlands, with a new pilot using electric vehicles. The program also includes the first launch of Deutsche Post-DHL Group’s StreetScooter electric van in the DHL Express network.

DHL Express first launched the City Hub pilot in March with a cargo bicycle program for last-mile deliveries in Utrecht and Frankfurt. DHL Cubicycle cargo bicycles were used in combination with a DHL van to carry a customized trailer into the city center, where specialized 125-kilogram containers are loaded onto Cubicycles for delivery.

The Hague pilot will replace the Cubicycles with a modified pickup version of a StreetScooter and a Nissan e-NV200, combined with 7.5-tonne trucks to deliver containers into the city center. The electric vehicles can carry up to three containers each, which increases delivery capabilities, compared with the smaller Cubicycles.

Deutsche Post DHL Group acquired StreetScooter GmbH in 2014 as part of its strategy to reduce its logistics-related emissions. There are currently more than 3,000 StreetScooters operating mostly in Germany with DHL Parcel, while roughly another 100 operate in the Netherlands. DHL plans to double production capacity to 20,000 StreetScooters per year in 2018 as it expands its own delivery fleet and increases third-party sales.

“As one step on our longer-term journey to reduce emissions to zero by 2050, Deutsche Post-DHL Group has set a target of operating 70 percent of first- and last-mile delivery services with clean transport modes by 2025,” said DHL Express Europe CEO John Pearson.

The initial pilot in The Hague will eventually expand to include Cubicycles for deliveries over shorter distances or in urban areas with heavier congestion.

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Caryn Livingston

Caryn Livingston is Editor of the monthly magazine Air Cargo World and Deputy Editor of the company’s monthly newsletter, Cargo Facts, and its weekly e-mail publication Cargo Facts Update. Prior to joining Cargo Facts in 2017, Caryn worked as a journalist in Houston covering the oil and gas industry. She holds a BA in English from the University of Tulsa and an MA in Literature from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.