FedEx doubles hybrid-electric fleet

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FedEx Express is adding 92 hybrid-electric trucks to its global delivery fleet – doubling its capacity of hybrids to 264.

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In addition, FedEx is currently operating hybrid-electric vehicles in Italy and recently rolled out ten new state-of-the-art Modec electric commercial vehicles for use in the UK.  

FedEx also operates 38 liquefied petroleum gas Mercedes Sprinter vehicles in the greater London metropolitan area.

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 – the equivalent of removing 279 cars from the road annually.

The converted hybrids were developed with Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation and Eaton Corporation, which provided the hybrid-electric systems.

 “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 John Formisano, vice president, Global Vehicles, FedEx Express.

“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.”

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

 The trucks feature a diesel engine coupled with an electric motor/generator and lithium-ion batteries.  These batteries capture and store energy during the regenerative braking phase of vehicle operation, removing the need to plug into an electrical source.  

The hybrid controller selects the most efficient mode of operation—diesel or electric—depending upon current operating conditions and driver demand.

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