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DHL Express Launches 100 Propane Trucks

Delivery firm DHL Express has taken delivery of a fleet of 100 Ford pickup and delivery vans fueled by propane autogas.

The Ford E-250 cargo vans, each equipped with a ROUSH CleanTech liquid propane autogas fuel system, will be on the road by late August 2012 and will operate in California, Florida, Georgia, Missouri and Texas.

The new alternative fuel vehicles join other propane vehicles already operating for DHL Express in Ohio, Tennessee and Louisiana. They all form part of Deutsche Post DHL’s GoGreen program and its target to improve the company’s worldwide carbon efficiency 30 percent by 2020, using 2007 levels as a baseline. Through the use of propane autogas, each alternative fuel vehicle saves over 22,587 pounds of CO2 emissions each year the company said.

DHL Express says that propane autogas is a low carbon fuel that reduces greenhouse gases by up to 25 percent, carbon monoxide by up to 60 percent and nitrogen oxide by 20 percent, and virtually eliminates particulate matter when compared to conventional fuels. In addition, non-toxic propane does not harm soil or groundwater, the company says.

DHL plans to use existing public refueling infrastructure in addition to adding refueling capability at its service center facilities. The company says that the infrastructure for propane autogas is less expensive than any other alternative fuel, and with thousands of stations across the nation, propane autogas already has the largest public refueling infrastructure of all alternative transportation fuel options.

DHL’s worldwide fleet, including its corporate brands under Deutsche Post DHL, consists of more than 4,000 non-conventional vehicles either powered by alternative fuels or modified for improved fuel efficiency — including an all “green” fleet in Manhattan with 50 hybrid vans and 30 American-made, battery-powered electric trucks.

In April, DHL Global Forwarding, the group’s freight division, announced that it will rely more heavily on rail in Germany to transport containers to sea freight terminals, in an effort to cut its carbon emissions. By shifting from road to rail transport, the freight unit expects to cut carbon emissions by 365 tons a year, according to a report in Post & Parcel.

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