The DANX Carousel Group and ELECTRON aerospace are entering a strategic partnership to launch Electron 5, an electric, zero-emission cargo aircraft. DANX Carousel is investing in the Dutch aircraft manufacturer as the “Founding Logistics Partner” for the project, which aims to revolutionise the air freight industry.
ELECTRON aerospace is currently developing the Electron 5 aircraft, which has been designed to transport 500 kilos (kg) of cargo over a 500 kilometres (km) distance on a single battery charge. With its requirement for relatively short runways, the Electron 5 provides access to five times more European Union (EU) airports compared to larger freight aircraft used today, enabling cargo to be flown directly on the shortest point-to-point route and bypassing congested logistics hubs at speeds of up to 300km per hour.
“Sustainability is, of course, the driving force behind our investment in ELECTRON, but the inclusion of the Electron 5 aircraft in our operations will also bring about impressive operational improvements,” said Lars Ryssel, Group Chief Solutions Officer (CSO), DANX Carousel. “The ability to launch and land closer to our pick-up and delivery points will cut down on journey lengths, allowing us to offer customers later cut-off times and better serve hard-to-reach areas. Moving away from the traditional hub-and-spoke distribution of air cargo to a point-to-point model means we can avoid congestion at busy airports. Based on our analysis, we believe that small planes are set to outperform conventional aircraft fuelled by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), and hybrid aircraft in cost per kilogram, transit time, and carbon emissions.”
DANX Carousel’s investment in ELECTRON aerospace is part of the group’s mission to cut carbon emissions by 40 percent before 2035. Marc-Henry de Jong, Chief Commercial Operator/Chief Operations Officer and Co-Founder of ELECTRON aerospace, said: “Beyond the financial investment, we’re thrilled to crown DANX Carousel our Founding Logistics Partner. The expertise of DANX Carousel’s exceptional team is instrumental in ensuring the Electron 5 is well equipped to transport a wide range of cargo, including loose goods like e-commerce parcels and odd-size goods resting on EU palettes. DANX Carousel specialists were involved in the freighter design of the Electron 5 model, advising on how to best adapt the aircraft to transport freight.”
“The future of short-haul air cargo is battery electric – and working with ELECTRON brings us closer to realising that vision,” said Val Karren, Sustainability Director, DANX Carousel. “The plane will emit zero emissions while in the air, but the shorter ground deliveries will also cut down on truck emissions as we avoid transporting cargo on the ground to and from regional hubs. DANX Carousel is front-line on this delivery model, and I believe this investment is future-proof as smaller planes will always have a unique offering due to their flexibility over larger freighters.”
Electron 5 models are due to hit the market in 2027, with Carousel aiming to add them to their fleet within the next five years. DANX Carousel’s investment is among multiple sustainability initiatives being rolled out by the group, with electric vehicles and trains also being trialled within its operations.