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The right play: Our sustainable vehicle fleet

The range of e-vehicles available today is on the rise. As we test what the market has to offer – from two to eighteen wheels – our fleet is expanding, too. So many models, we’ve more than filled a deck of cards!

Playing your (electric vehicle) cards right

Have you ever played the card game Quartet? Similar to Go Fish, this child-favorite is all about collecting sets of four matching cards. Kids are drawn to its simplicity and the thrill of collecting cards. And whether they realize it or not, they are not just playing a game but on a journey of discovery, constantly learning new things. They absorb facts, understand comparisons, and develop their memory and concentration skills. Quartet is education disguised as fun, making it a parent favorite, too.

What does this have to do with electric vehicles (EVs) and supply chains, you ask? Well, since introducing EVs into our operations over a decade ago, we’ve been on a journey of discovery ourselves. We’ve tested just about every e-vehicle that has entered the market, assessing their performance and matching them to our needs. Call it a game of EV Quartet, if you will. Now that our fleet of sustainable vehicles includes more models than a deck of Quartet cards (32, in case you were wondering), we decided to have a little fun of our own, putting a pack of eight quartets together with KPIs like Range, Speed, Payload, and Agility.

Now we’re laying our cards on the table – showing you our hand so you can see a selection of our sustainable vehicles and play a little game of Top Trump. Come on, it’ll be fun!  

Large and in charge – electrifying the crucial ‘first mile’

The ‘first mile’ in logistics involves the initial movement of goods from the manufacturer or producer to a transportation hub or warehouse. It's the starting block of a product’s journey to the customer, a step that often determines the efficiency of the entire supply chain. The choice of vehicles depends on the type of goods transported, but the first mile usually involves large quantities or bulk items requiring heavy-duty trucks and trailers.

Electrifying this crucial stage in the supply chain is no easy task because matching the performance of diesel-power trucks presents significant challenges. Slowly but surely, manufacturers are making inroads as battery technology improves, developing heavy-duty haulers with increasing range and speed. But if your dealt one of these multi-axle vehicles, your top trump is definitely the Payload.

Tough trendsetters – the pioneers of EV delivery

Ten+ years ago, when we wanted to add e-vehicles to our fleet, there weren’t a lot of options in the marketplace. So, we created our own, together with our couriers and based on their needs – an electric van called the StreetScooter. Today, there are four models in our sustainable vehicle fleet, making mail and parcel delivery clean and green. In our game of Quartet, this trendsetter doesn’t top the charts in Range, Speed, Payload, or Agility, but it has proven to be a rugged and reliable partner.

After you’ve checked out these game-changing e-vehicles, be sure to have a look at our e-vans from the likes of Ford, Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen, and GM (see Meet the Fleet below). These newer members of our sustainable vehicle fleet are impressive, and you’re bound to see more of them on the streets soon.

From water to warehouses to white clouds – special purpose e-vehicles

Supply chains are complex webs with countless movements across all modes of transport. To set new standards in sustainable supply chains, we need to make all of them greener. Electric boats, warehouse vehicles, and even regional aircraft are some of the special-purpose vehicles we’re adding to our sustainable vehicle fleet. For example, the four vehicles below are helping us reshape sustainable shipping on the water, in the air, and at our warehouses and distribution centers. Our solar boats in Berlin trump all other cards in the category Range – and no other vehicle in our sustainable fleet can match the speed of Alice, our electric cargo plane. If your hand includes our electric warehouse workhorses, the E-Triever or E-Wiesel, be sure to pick Payload, and there’s a good chance your opponent won’t trump you.

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Three legs but no footprints – even less impact on the last mile

The “last mile” is the most complex and costly link in the supply chain. With most last-mile deliveries in urban areas, greener solutions are crucial for reducing air and noise pollution.

That’s where two- and three-wheeled members of our sustainable vehicle fleet come in. This quartet of e-bikes and e-trikes can navigate narrow or crowded streets that larger vehicles can’t, making them the most agile e-vehicles in our sustainability fleet. You can’t lose – unless, of course, your opponent is holding one of the others!

Meet the Sustainable Fleet

We are continuously modernizing our fleet, adding electric vehicles and introducing alternative drive systems. By 2030, we aim to have EVs handling 60% of our pick-ups and deliveries. Today, we operate more than 29,200 EVs. Our sustainable fleet card game shows a selection of them.

More EVs than a deck of quartet

The need for sustainable supply chains has never been greater. Thankfully, there are more and more options to help us reach our emissions reductions goals. We hope you enjoyed getting to know our deck full of EVs.

As the world’s leading logistics company, we have worked hard to set an example for sustainable business, from introducing the industry’s first green product to being the first logistics company to commit to zero emissions. Learn more about Sustainability at DHL Group.

Come play cards with us!

We’ll be sharing more so you can meet other members of our sustainable vehicle fleet – so be sure to follow us on your favorite social media channel.


We have worked hard to set an example for sustainable business, from introducing the industry’s first green product to being the first logistics company to commit to zero emissions

Published: November 2023

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