DHL Adding 63 Electric Vans to US Fleet

©. Workhorse

Slowly but surely, home delivery is getting cleaner.

Logistics company DHL has already branched out into selling its own StreetScooter zero emission delivery vehicles, but that doesn't mean it's not in the market for adding to its fleet from other manufacturers either.

In fact, the company is announcing the addition of 63 NGEN-1000 electric delivery cargo vans, built by equipment manufacturer Workhorse Group.

It goes without saying, of course, that 63 vehicles is next to nothing for a company DHL's size—but it looks like yet another sign that the company is serious about its long-term goal of zero emissions by 2050. More encouragingly, the company has an interim goal of making 70% of first and last mile deliveries and pick ups using "clean transport modes" by 2025. (Truthfully, I was a little suspicious of a vague term like 'clean transport modes', but the Mission 2050 website suggests these are electric vehicles or bikes.)

As I've said before, the explosive growth of online retail and home delivery has the potential to radically reduce the carbon footprint of retail—both by reducing the energy used by inefficient Big Box stores, and by consolidating transport into tightly packed vans full of boxes, rather than each of us making our own way to the mall. But so far, that has meant a whole host of stinky, noisy and inefficient box trucks hurtling around our neighborhoods.

DHL's commitments—alongside the efforts of companies like Ikea—suggest that we could make fast progress on a greener way of getting our goods. Now, imagine if those goods start turning up in refillable containers too...

And, in case you're wondering what it looks like, here's the NGEN-1000 in action.