International Courier DHL Express has extended its City Hub concept for environmentally-friendly inner-city deliveries to The Hague, Netherlands. The new pilot will use electric vehicles for the last mile, including Nissan’s e-NV200.
This will also see the first deployment of Deutsche Post DHL Group’s StreetScooter electric delivery van in the global DHL Express delivery network.
The City Hub concept was first launched in March 2017 in Utrecht, Netherlands and Frankfurt, Germany. The pilots linked the DHL Cubicycle – cargo bicycles, which can carry a specialised container with a load of up to 125kg – with a customised trailer carrying up to four containers.
A DHL van brings the trailer into the city center, where the containers can be quickly loaded on to Cubicycles for delivery over the last mile.
The latest pilot will see a modified pickup version of a StreetScooter and a Nissan e-NV200 take on the last-mile delivery of up to three containers each. Combined with larger 7.5-tonne trucks that can bring a higher number of 125kg containers into the city center, this will make the overall transportation more operationally and environmentally efficient.
“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% of first- and last-mile delivery services with clean transport modes by 2025. The City Hub concept is one innovative way in which DHL Express is contributing towards this target,” said John Pearson, CEO, DHL Express Europe.
While the initial pilot in The Hague will involve electric vehicles, the company is also planning to add Cubicycles at a later date to support deliveries over shorter distances or routes with heavier congestion. Each new vehicle or Cubicycle will replace a single standard delivery vehicle on average.
Every standard delivery vehicle taken off the road by DHL Express generates an equivalent CO2 saving of over eight tons per year and a significant reduction in other emissions, according to the company.