A Deeper Look at the FedEx Express Retro-Fit Hybrid Delivery Vehicles
July 21st is a landmark day in the FedEx Express effort to bring hybrid technology to the world of commercial vehicles. About 9 months ago we recognized an opportunity existed to expand our hybrid fleet by converting existing vehicles to this fuel and emissions saving technology. The conversion of existing long life medium duty vehicles originally manufactured by Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC) enabled us to bring more hybrid trucks to the road than if we purchased new hybrid trucks. At the same time, we were able to give older, less fuel efficient trucks a new life. I hope you agree that this is really the ultimate way to recycle old trucks.
These 92 trucks utilize today’s cleaner 2007 compliant engines, manufactured by Cummins, in combination with the proven Eaton Hybrid-Electric drive system. Utilizing a particulate filter, which the older trucks didn’t have, these vehicles virtually eliminate the soot (diesel particulates) that the previous engines in these vehicles produced. The trucks we converted were manufactured 2000 and 2001, and had already logged between 300,000 and 500,000 miles serving FedEx Express customers. Our 92 vehicles are on the way to California where we expect that they will have just as long a life serving customers while using less fuel and producing fewer emissions.
Our current fleet of hybrid trucks has already driven more than 4 million miles, effectively showing that this technology isn’t being “tested”, it’s being used. It’s well documented that the savings by adopting hybrid technology in trucks significantly dwarfs the potential in passenger cars and we hope to demonstrate, with the launch of our newest 92 hybrid vehicles that this hybrid vehicle technology is truly the a solution for today. Our existing hybrids have saved FedEx Express, and the USA as a whole, over 150,000 gallons of fuel which is the equivalent of taking over 270 cars from the road. I’m also proud to say this technology also kept over 1500 metric tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere.
A hybrid truck doesn’t require re-inventing infrastructure, it carries its own infrastructure with it. It’s range is unlimited, as I hope is its future. I hope the medium duty truck user follows our trail and begins to adopt this technology as doing so will bring down the cost of the technology, while at the same time reducing the country’s use of petroleum.