DHL Is Adopting This Innovative Technology To Reduce Its Carbon Emissions

(Credit: DHL)

by | Mar 1, 2022

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(Credit: DHL)

DHL Express, the world’s leading provider of international shipping services, will reduce its fleet carbon emissions by installing solar panels on its US pickup and delivery trucks.

DHL will equip 67 of its medium and heavy-duty trucks with solar panel units from TRAILAR, a London-based solar transport technology manufacturer. TRAILAR retrofits existing commercial vehicles with ultra-thin solar “mats” applied to the roof. The mats are connected to TRAILAR’s Smart Charge Controller, which regulates the transfer of energy from the alternator and solar mats to the battery. Sensors collect data on fuel and emissions savings.

The technology is expected to reduce each vehicle’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than 2,000 pounds annually and lower both fuel and maintenance costs.

The solar system generates electricity from sunlight, and will be used to charge the battery as well as power lift gates and other ancillary equipment. This reduces the load on the alternator and, as a result, fuel consumption. An integrated, state-of-the-art telematics system provides detailed information on the efficiency of the entire system through web-based reporting, including battery health, charging of ancillary equipment, overall fuel and emissions savings and more.  With continuous battery management via the TRAILAR Smart Charge Controller, solar energy is used to maintain battery levels at the most optimum level, even when the vehicle is off. This constant care of the battery and reduction in alternator wear has a direct impact in reducing overall vehicle maintenance costs.

This initiative is part of DHL’s Accelerated Roadmap to decarbonization announced last year, which committed DHL to interim measures on the way to its 2050 zero emissions target. The roadmap included a €7 billion investment in climate-neutral logistics such as alternative aviation fuels, zero-emission e-vehicle fleets and climate-neutral buildings between now and 2030.

Commenting on the company’s climate work, DHL Express U.S. CEO Greg Hewitt stated:

“We’re aiming to improve the lives of people where they live and work, using cleaner pickup and delivery solutions – such as electric vehicles and cargo cycles, and now augmenting our truck fleet with this innovative solar solution. This is another strategic step in our drive forward to decarbonization, and over time reducing all logistics related emissions to net zero by 2050.”

Medium and heavy-duty trucks are responsible for about 7% of greenhouse gas emissions in the US, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

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