5. April 2023 | press release
DPD Switzerland uses e-trucks for transalpine distribution
Buchs, April 2023. 100 years after the electrification of the Gotthard railway, there has been a breakthrough in terms of road traffic: DPD, Europe’s largest parcel service provider, has been using zero-emission vehicles for transalpine distribution since February 2023. DPD Switzerland uses electric trucks and the railway between Ticino and the north side of the Alps. DPD Switzerland sees its move away from diesel in transalpine distribution as an important step towards fossil-free parcel delivery throughout Switzerland.
DPD is working continuously to electrify its fleet. Besides switching to e-vans for shorter-distance routes and last-mile delivery, the parcel service provider is making systematic use of green energy in the trucks that travel between its depots. Since early February 2023, DPD Switzerland has been using electric trucks in its line operations between the depot in Giubiasco and its major sites in German-speaking Switzerland.
The e-trucks developed by Designwerk Products in Winterthur feature batteries with a capacity of 900 kWh and an average range of around 600 km. An electric DPD truck travelled 1’099 km on one battery charge at the Contidrom in Hanover in 2021, securing a place in the Guinness World Records and demonstrating the usefulness of e-trucks in line operations in impressive fashion.
DPD’s decision to use e-trucks in its line operations between northern and southern Switzerland comes 100 years after the electrification of the Gotthard railway. The railway has been electrified between Chiasso and Lucerne since 1922 and the entire line has been electrified all the way to Basel since 1924. Tilmann Schultze, CEO of DPD Switzerland, says:
Up until a few years ago, the idea of using e-trucks on the Gotthard axis was considered unrealistic, so we are all the prouder to have made the transition now. It is both an important milestone on our road to zero-emission parcel deliveries and a contribution to Alpine conservation
Our experience with the e-trucks has been excellent and the manufacturer Designwerk is the ideal partner. We save around nine tonnes of CO2 per e-truck per month,
says Ville Heimgartner, Senior Innovation Project & Sustainability Manager at DPD Switzerland. Almost three decades after the adoption of the Alpine Initiative, electric trucks are an energetic and acoustic paradigm shift in transalpine road haulage. With a total load of up to 38 tonnes, the trucks travel almost silently through Alpine passes that usually echo with the sound of transit traffic.
DPD is currently using six e-trucks throughout Switzerland, and this number is set to rise gradually over the next few months. As things currently stand, DPD’s fleet of around 850 vehicles is 15 % electrified and its target of 20 % by the end of the year is within reach. DPD is aiming to have an entire fleet of zero-emission vehicles, 90 % of which will be electric, by 2030. The remaining vehicles will likely have alternative zero-emission drives and be used for extremely long routes. DPD aims to reduce its total CO2 emissions by 75 % by 2030 (the baseline is 2020).
First parcel delivery company with science-based emissions targets
DPD Switzerland's parent company Geopost is the first global parcel delivery service whose short- and long-term CO2 reduction targets have been validated by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). The SBTi supports companies in defining targets and measures to avoid greenhouse gases on a scientific basis. The initiative is a cooperation of the Carbon Disclosure Project, the United Nations Global Compact, the World Resources Institute and WWF. The SBTi standards are ambitious: «net zero» applies not only to direct emissions (such as from company-owned vehicles), but also to all indirect emissions along the entire value chain.
DPD trucks on the north-south axis:
- Brand: DW E-Truck Logistics 18E
- Manufacturer: Designwerk, Winterthur
- Engine power: 500 kW
- Battery capacity: 900 kWh
- Charging capacity: bis 350 kWh
- Axles: 2
- Permissible total truck weight: 20 t
- Payload: 7 t
- Permissible total load (with trailer): 42 t
- Length: 9.8 m