DHL, Orange EV Reach Heavy-Duty Electric Yard Truck Milestone

Row of Orange EV's electric yard trucks

(Credit: Orange EV)

by | Jan 12, 2024

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With eight years since the commercial deployment of its first Orange EV truck, DHL Supply Chain said that it now owns and operates 50 of the emissions-free, heavy-duty vehicles.

DHL Supply Chain became Orange EV’s first customer in October of 2015, reportedly becoming the first in the industry to commercially deploy a heavy-duty electric truck. The trucks are now used at over 220 DHL Supply Chain sites in the U.S. as the company has committed to phasing out diesel yard trucks by 2025 and reducing logistics-related emissions to net zero by 2050. The company estimates that the 50 electric trucks currently in use eliminate over 2,500 tons of carbon emissions annually.

Orange EV has now deployed over 1,000 electric trucks across 36 states, and the company cites several benefits to its electric vehicles when compared to their diesel counterparts.

The company’s EV trucks average about 98% uptime compared to a 70% to 80% uptime of diesel trucks, allowing companies to keep operations moving efficiently while saving money.  Additional cost savings may also be achieved by avoiding fuel, repair expenses, and maintenance associated with diesel trucks.

“We deeply appreciate our partnership with DHL Supply Chain, now spanning eight years and 50 trucks,” said Wayne Mathisen, CEO and co-founder of Orange EV. “When DHL Supply Chain leaned in to purchase Orange EV’s very first electric yard truck, they single-handedly advanced the heavy-duty EV industry. Hundreds of other companies have now also made the move to electric since DHL has proven through years of testing and data that EV yard trucks save money and improve operations while eliminating emissions.”

Heavy-Duty Vehicle Industry Experiences Steady Progress

While smaller, commercial electric vehicles have gained ample attention with rapid industry growth and policy backing, the electrification of more heavy-duty vehicles, such as cargo machines, mining trucks, and yard trucks, is becoming more widespread.

Caterpillar recently reached an agreement with CRH to accelerate the deployment of off-highway trucks and charging systems, and the company has developed a range of electric mining trucks already in use. Meanwhile, a fleet of 33 zero-emissions cargo-handling yard tractors was brought to the Port of Long Beach in California at the end of 2023.

Considering diesel fuel accounts for even more emissions than gasoline, electric options for traditionally diesel-powered vehicles are a welcome development for decarbonizing industries like shipping and construction. The high cost of heavy-duty electric vehicles serves as a barrier to the continued growth of the industry, but consideration of long-term cost savings and efficiency gains such as those offered by Orange EV’s vehicles may contribute to further adoption.

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