The new trucks will increase the company’s fleet of hybrid-electric vehicles by more than 50%, from 172 to 264. The conversions are more cost-effective than buying newer hybrids, not only reducing pollution but also extending the life of the vehicles, thereby helping to eliminate waste.
The retrofitted FedEx trucks were 2000 or 2001 models which had logged 300,000 to 500,000 miles. The conversion process involved replacing the power-train equipment, including the engine, transmission, fuel tank and drive shaft, with a 2007 Cummins ISB 200 hp engine and Eaton hybrid-electric system. Costs were reduced by utilizing the existing chassis and body.
The retrofitted hybrid trucks are projected to improve fuel economy by 44%, decrease particulate matter by 96% and reduce smog-causing emissions by 75% compared to conventional FedEx Express delivery trucks.
The vehicles use a diesel engine coupled with an electric motor/generator and lithium-ion batteries. These batteries capture and store energy while braking, eliminating the need to plug into an electrical source. The sophisticated hybrid controller selects the most efficient mode of operation "diesel or electric" depending on operating conditions and driver demand.
FedEx has seven different types of hybrids in operation. They include multiple medium-duty types of hybrid electrics (operated on three continents) at FedEx Express, a heavy-duty design at FedEx Freight, and one type of hydraulic hybrid at FedEx Ground. 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.
"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 of Global Vehicles.
"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."
FedEx used incentive funding from the California government for its first hybrid truck service in the state in 2004 and has continued to use the funds to add hybrids to its fleet during the past five years. "We are eager for additional government and industry support to find more affordable options for hybrid trucks, so that we may adopt them into our fleet at a faster pace," said Mitch Jackson, Director of Environmental Affairs and Sustainability.
In addition to the use of hybrid vehicles, FedEx has taken the following steps to increase vehicle fuel efficiency and reduce emissions in its fleet:
• Since 2005, FedEx has been using smaller, more fuel efficient sprinter vans and optimizing routes. As a result, FedEx Express has saved 45 million gallons of fuel or 452,573 metric tons and carbon dioxide emissions.
• FedEx Ground is testing hybrid hydraulic technology on heavy trucks.
• FedEx operates a large number of electric and alternative-fuel support vehicles worldwide, including more than 500 forklifts and 1,600 airport equipment units.
• Couriers in New York City and London deliver many of their packages on foot and bicycle.
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