NEW YORK CITY – DHL plans to roll out a fleet of 80 “green” commercial delivery vehicles in Manhattan by September. DHL Express will operate 30 battery-powered electric vans and 50 hybrid trucks.

According to DHL, the two types of vehicles DHL Express’ fleet will use in New York City are being manufactured in the U.S. by Azure Dynamics. Ford Motor Co. produced the chassis for these vehicles. The Balance Hybrid Electric vehicle components combine Azure’s hybrid powertrain with a Ford E-450 chassis. By converting DHL’s existing Ford E-450s into hybrids, the vehicle’s fuel economy will improve by up to 40 percent while emissions will be reduced by about 30 percent, according to DHL.

Azure will also integrate its Force Drive electric powertrain into new Ford Transit Connect vans. Using a lithium-ion battery, the van can achieve a range of up to 80 miles on a single charge and can be recharged overnight, DHL stated.

“Sustainability, especially the reduction of carbon emissions, is a central aspect of our business and an integral part of our corporate strategy. As the global leader in logistics we are ideally positioned to foster climate protection in order to save our environment for future generations,” said Frank Appel, chief executive officer of Deutsche Post DHL. “As customers worldwide are increasingly demanding greener logistics, sustainable business procedures and initiatives like the one we are launching today will – at the same time – also enhance the profitability of our business.”

DHL’s investment in this fleet is part of the company’s investment in its global GoGreen strategy, which has a goal of reducing the company’s carbon footprint by 30 percent (compared to 2007 base levels) by 2020.

”New Yorkers can have cleaner air and efficient freight delivery, thanks to this effort to reduce the emissions from the delivery trucks our just-in-time economy depends on," said David Bragdon, Director of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability for New York City.