FedEx Expands Hybrid-Electric Fleet by 50%

by | Jul 23, 2009

fedexhybridsFedEx Corp. has expanded its hybrid-electric delivery fleet from 172 to 264 with the addition of 92 retrofitted trucks. These hybrids are touted as the first standard FedEx delivery trucks converted to hybrid-electric systems. The retrofitted hybrid vehicles will be placed into service in California, primarily in the Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco metropolitan areas.

The retrofit hybrid trucks are projected to improve fuel economy by 44 percent, decrease particulate matter by 96 percent and reduce smog-causing (NOx) emissions by 75 percent compared to the standard FedEx Express delivery truck.

The hybrid conversions were produced in Charlotte, N.C., over the past six months and created 50 new, temporary green jobs in the area. The converted hybrids were developed with Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC) and Eaton Corporation, which provided the hybrid-electric systems.

The standard FedEx trucks used in the retrofit program were 2000 or 2001 models with 300,000 to 500,000 miles driven. 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, said FedEx.

The FedEx hybrid-electric fleet has logged more than four million miles of  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.

FedEx has also implemented several other programs to increase vehicle fuel efficiency and reduce emissions in its fleet. For example, since 2005, FedEx has added smaller, more fuel efficient sprinter vans to its fleet while optimizing routes, which has saved 45 million gallons of fuel or 452,573 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

In London, FedEx operates liquid petroleum gas (LPG) sprinter vans, which reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 12 percent, and plans to use 10 zero-emission Modec electric delivery vehicles in the United Kingdom. FedEx Express has more than 320 LPG and electric-powered support units in use at the Roissy Charles de Gaulle hub in Paris and other operational facilities across Europe.

In an extended trial period using hybrid diesel trucks from Iveco, FedEx said it achieved a fuel savings of 26.5 percent.

FedEx also operates a large number of electric and alternative-fuel support vehicles worldwide, including more than 500 forklifts and 1,600 ground equipment units at airports.

Although modern hybrid technologies are more then a decade old, it’s only in recent years that “full hybrid” systems have been proving their worth on larger vehicles, reports

One example cited by is Deutsche Post DHL’s 12-ton Atego BlueTec hybrid truck, which recently earned the award for outstanding environmental technology in the category of “Emissions Reduction, Treatment, and Sequestration of Environmentally Hazardous Substances” from the German state of Baden-Württemberg.

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