Promoting Reliable Delivery, Low Costs and a Healthy Environment
DHL is turning to environmentally friendly natural gas vehicles for its express deliveriesBonn, 01/08/2007, 10:30 AM CET
DHL Express now operates 21 quiet-running and especially low emission vehicles. These vehicles were subsidized by the Federal Ministry for the Environment as part of a project to foster environmentally friendly delivery transport. The VW Caddies powered by natural gas meet the strictest European environmental standards and will be used at various locations throughout Germany. DHL Express is thus focusing on an even greater priority to clean natural gas technology and the reduction of pollution caused by particulate matter and nitrogen oxides from traffic, especially in city areas. The vehicles comply with both current and future EU air quality requirements.
"The use of these vehicles is yet another step towards creating a sustainable and environmentally friendly transportation network. We are thus continuing to implement our environmental guidelines," says Monika Wulf-Mathies, Managing Director Policy and Sustainability of Deutsche Post World Net. The Group has increased the share of especially environmentally friendly vehicles in its fleet with this acquisition. A total of 170 vehicles powered by natural gas are already being used for parcel delivery throughout Germany.
Since the 21 VW Caddies significantly surpass the currently valid Euro IV standard - especially for emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides - they were subsidized through the pilot project "The last mile on the safe side - high environmental standards in inner-city and regional delivery transport" developed and funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU). Approximately 500 especially clean and quiet-running delivery vehicles have been in operation since early 2005 as part of this project. The results reveal that, "Timely investment in vehicles that meet stricter emission and noise standards than required by law is worth it from both an environmental and an economical prospective," says Wolf-Albrecht Hoffmann, the division head responsible for the development project at the BMU.
Financial analyses conducted as part of the project show that natural gas vehicles with high standards are more expensive to purchase. But are already more economical than the diesel vehicles now commonly used in their first year of operation depending on the mileage covered - even without subsidies. In addition to operational readiness, one particularly important reason for the lower running costs is the substantial mineral oil tax relief on natural gas fuel, guaranteed by law until 2018.