Wednesday, July 22, 2009

FedEx Expands Hybrid-Electric Fleet

Now operate North America’s largest hybrid fleet
Shipping News Feature

USA - FedEx Corp. yesterday announced that they were adding a further 92 hybrid-electric trucks to their delivery fleet, increasing the vehicles of this type the company operates from 172 to 264, an increase of more than 50%.

The FedEx hybrid-electric fleet has logged more than four million miles of revenue service since being introduced in 2004, reducing fuel use by 150,000 gallons and carbon dioxide emissions by 1,521 metric tons, which is equivalent to removing 279 cars from the road annually.

The hybrids were produced in Charlotte, N.C., and were developed with Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC) and Eaton Corporation. The vehicles were converted from standard FedEx trucks that were initially brought into service in 2001, and have already been in use for between 300,000 to 500,000 miles. A FedEx press release points out that the use of the conversion program “not only reduces pollution but also extends the life of the vehicles, helping to eliminate waste production and creating a reduce-and-reuse program.”

“The conversion of these standard FedEx trucks into hybrids is the latest milestone in our drive to advance and adopt hybrid technology into our fleet and the broader industry,” said Vice President of FedEx’s Global Vehicle Division, John Formisano.

“FedEx and our suppliers have demonstrated that converted hybrids are a viable, lower-cost option compared to purchasing new hybrids. We now need government incentives to end a Catch-22 situation: Production volumes are low due to high cost, and costs will only come down with higher production volumes,” he added.

FedEx believes that the retrofitted trucks shall improve fuel economy by 44 percent, decrease particulate matter by 96 percent and reduce smog-causing emissions by 75 percent compared to the standard FedEx Express delivery truck.

The 92 retrofitted hybrid vehicles will be placed into service in California, primarily in the Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco metropolitan areas.