DHL Supply Chain has begun a trial of a prototype series hybrid vehicle, a first in the UK, with potential fuel reductions of up to 25% compared to existing technology.
DHL’s GoGreen and engineering teams worked with UK hybrid and electric vehicle drive engineers Magtec to develop the hybrid electric truck, which features an on-board power generator plus an innovative super capacitor energy storage system.
The new design has the potential to achieve significant cost savings as well as reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions by up to 25%, DHL claims.
Two years in development, the prototype has now been delivered to DHL’s Maidstone facility as part of a “proof of concept” trial. Due to its particular suitability for stop-start journeys, the truck will be used around London as part of the NHS Supply Chain contract.
If the trial proves successful and the truck generates higher savings than existing parallel hybrid vehicles, DHL anticipates that the new technology could play a major role in its urban, local and home delivery operations in the future.
Jonathan Chadburn, VP commercial and fleet services (UK Transport) at DHL Supply Chain, said: “This latest innovation underlines our commitment to sustainability and to driving better results for our customers. We always strive to improve our environmental performance and are proud to be at the forefront of green innovation in the logistics sector.”
Managing director of Magtec, Marcus Jenkins, added: “We’re very excited to have developed this ground-breaking new technology and look forward to working with DHL to demonstrate the fuel savings that can be achieved using the system.”
The investments in alternative drive technologies and commitment to CO2 reduction form part of Deutsche Post DHL’s group-wide GoGreen programme, which includes a specific target of a 30% improvement in its CO2 emissions by 2020 compared with the 2007 baseline.
The GoGreen programme turns five this year, and the company says it is halfway to achieving its CO2 goal with an efficiency increase of 16%.