by Keshav Sondhi
Chief Engineer, FedEx electric truck
“Welcome back glaciers!” declared Seth Meyers on the Saturday Night Live Weekend Update last night. I startled from my hotel bed at the end of Route 66 in Los Angeles. Did Seth Meyers really just jest about the four new FedEx zero-emission, all-electric delivery vehicles — a project I was working on?! What a thrill. All I can say beyond ‘Wow!’ is — there once was one light bulb in the US before there were 4 billion. (We can see why one of us is the comedian and the other is the engineer.)
In addition to the honor of being covered on SNL, the positive twist to this is that the clip highlights what we (my company and I) want everyone to understand! We believe in the electrification of short haul transportation. However, the technology needs to be
before we see en masse roll outs from any user group(s).
The domestic production in our fiscal year 2010 for these – these being purpose-built all-electric delivery vehicles with potential for mass market rather than craft job individual conversions — was basically these four units in the US. Most other manufacturers are still struggling with their engineering designs. Navistar confirmed two units initially and later confirmed another two for delivery in our fiscal year after the other manufacturer stated that their vehicles will not be ready by the end of May 2010.
We are enabling a technological switch through providing initial demand, operating ten all-electric delivery trucks in the UK and adding these four in LA and another five in Paris this spring. And we are gauging manufacturers against targeted deadlines to speed up developmental processes.
For more, check out the insight our Vice President of Global Vehicles provides and learn more about our efforts in Washington, DC to end dependence on petroleum and successfully devise and deploy an electrified transportation system.
Without further ado, I am going to bask in the wonder of my work’s brush with fame. Thank you, Seth Meyers!