While e-commerce has grown significantly in the past five years, COVID-19 has amplified this growth. We expect it too accelerate even more with consumers now demanding a greater level of service and ‘need-it-now’ delivery. This increase in demand is boosting the number of delivery vehicles in cities worldwide resulting in greater congestion and significant increases in greenhouse gases. This is causing many in the industry, including DB Schenker, to rethink last-mile logistics and move away from diesel delivery vehicles toward all-electric trucks and vans that could significantly reduce CO2 emissions.
This is why we’ve placed the largest electric truck order in Europe through our partnership with Stockholm-based Volta Trucks. The fully-electric 16-ton Volta Zero is in testing and will be used in DB Schenker’s European terminals to transport goods from distribution hubs to the city centers and urban areas. The Volta Zero is the world’s first purpose-built full-electric 16-ton vehicle explicitly designed for inner-city logistics, reducing the environmental impact of freight deliveries in urban centers. Designed from the ground up with a pure-electric range of 150 to 200 km (95 – 125 miles), the Volta Zero will eliminate an estimated 1.2 million tons of CO2 by 2025.
Safety is also at the heart of Volta Trucks, and the Volta Zero is designed not only to be all-electric but also the safest commercial vehicle on the road. With no internal combustion engine, the operator sits in a central driving position with a much lower seat height than a conventional truck. This combination, along with the glasshouse-style cabin design, provides the driver with a panoramic, 220-degree field of visibility, minimizing dangerous blind spots and protecting vulnerable road users.
We have many challenges to overcome on the road to carbon neutrality. However, our large-scale partnership with Volta Trucks allows us to significantly increase the pace of electrification of our fleet and invest in greener transport solutions, brings us closer to DB Schenker’s goal of carbon neutral logistics.