July 23, 2009

FedEx fleet gets 92 hybrid electric trucks

FedEx Corp.'s 92 new U.S. hybrid electric trucks will save fuel, improve air quality and possibly spur mass production of the vehicles, the company said.

The parcel delivery vans, which will raise the number of hybrid electric trucks in FedEx's fleet to 264, will be stationed in California and New York urban areas, the Memphis logistics services company said.

FedEx officials said they hope that by taking the lead in developing energy-efficient pickup and delivery vehicles, they'll build momentum for the vehicles' mass production, The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal reported.

The Utilimaster Corp. trucks, converted in Charlotte, N.C., will have 44 percent greater fuel economy, generate 96 percent less particulates and reduce overall smog by 75 percent over standard FedEx trucks, FedEx said.

The vans will get 10 to 14 miles per gallon, compared with seven to 10 mpg for its conventional vans, which is meaningful with such a large fleet, FedEx said.

For a logistics company with 45,000 vehicles on the road, they know diesel prices will start climbing again once the economy recovers, transportation analyst Sandeep Kar of Frost & Sullivan consulting told the newspaper.