FedEx Newsroom

FedEx Newsroom

New Fedex Express Hybrid Electric Trucks Begin Service

April 30, 2004

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—March 30, 2004—Innovative Alliance Leads to Low-Emission, High-Efficiency Vehicle Designed to Dramatically Reduce Emissions, Save Fuel               

FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE:FDX), has placed into service the first of its new, low-emission, hybrid electric powered delivery vehicles in concert with the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, Environmental Defense and Eaton Corporation (NYSE:ETN).

The official roll out took place at a state capitol ceremony today attended by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The FedEx OptiFleet E700 hybrid electric vehicle will decrease particulate emissions by 90 percent, reduce smog-causing emissions by 75 percent and travel 50 percent farther on a gallon of fuel, reducing fuel costs by one-third.

Two FedEx OptiFleet E700 hybrid electric vehicles have been tested in Sacramento since late February following an agreement with the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (AQMD) to demonstrate the commercial viability of the lower-emission powertrain in heavy-duty vehicles. The project was made possible in part by a grant provided by the AQMD. 

FedEx Express will place 18 additional hybrid electric diesel delivery trucks into service in selected cities throughout 2004. New York City, Houston, Washington, D.C., Denver and several other cities are possible locations for future rollouts of the hybrid electric trucks. These hybrid electric vehicles will endure real-world FedEx operating conditions during 2004 to verify and prove their viability in commercial applications.

"FedEx Express is proud to be the first company to make a long-term market commitment to develop and utilize hybrid electric delivery trucks," said David J. Bronczek, president, FedEx Express. "FedEx Express recognizes effective environmental management as a global corporate priority, and is actively involved in environmental innovations and technologies. Utilizing innovative technologies such as our hybrid electric truck, California is yet again leading the nation in protecting the environment," Bronczek said.

"We are proud to work with FedEx Express, Environmental Defense and Eaton in bringing this advanced heavy-duty hybrid technology to Sacramento," said Norm Covell, Sacramento‘s Air Pollution Control Officer. "These clean, efficient vehicles are just another example of how Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District aims to deliver healthier air to our community. We want to thank the members of this project for working to make this technology commercially available so that the significant air quality and energy efficiency improvements can benefit the broadest possible market applications." 

FedEx Express also welcomed the opportunity to work with Environmental Defense, an organization recognized for its long history of working with industry leaders to leverage their purchasing power to create real environmental benefits that protect the bottom line.

"Four years ago Environmental Defense was looking for an innovative company to help us revolutionize truck technology in the U.S. and FedEx Express accepted that challenge," said Fred Krupp, president, Environmental Defense. "Today, these two trucks put Sacramento on the leading edge of the effort for cleaner air and better mileage. Environmental Defense now challenges other companies to increase their fleet’s contribution to reduced air pollution, oil dependency and climate change impacts." 

Cleveland, Ohio-based Eaton Corporation, one of the world’s most recognized industrial manufacturers, produced the hybrid electric powertrain for the vehicle. 

"Eaton is pleased to make this innovative, environmentally advanced technology available to FedEx Express and Environmental Defense for this ground-breaking project," said Jim Sweetnam, senior vice president and group executive, Eaton Corporation, Truck Group. "Our team will continue to work closely with FedEx Express and Environmental Defense in Sacramento and additional markets as we take this innovative project to the next level."

Power of Innovation Produces New Vehicle

FedEx Express and Environmental Defense began working together in 2000 to create a delivery truck that would dramatically decrease emissions and fuel use. Through a competitive process, Eaton Corporation was selected from more than 20 manufacturers who expressed interest in creating a cleaner vehicle using a variety of technologies. Since the beginning of the project, progress toward goals has been assessed against the 1999 FedEx Express W700 standard delivery vehicle, which represents the most common model in the FedEx Express fleet.

Eaton’s Innovative Technology Produces Hybrid Electric Powertrain

Eaton’s hybrid electric powertrain effectively combines a diesel engine and electric motor to drive the vehicle. A computer determines the most efficient combination, depending on current operating conditions and driver demand. A four-cylinder engine replaces the six-cylinder version currently used in the FedEx Express W700 delivery vehicle. The engine size is reduced because of the added power provided by the electric motor. A particulate trap has been added to the truck to further reduce emissions. 

Lithium-ion batteries capture and store energy during the "regenerative braking" phase of the vehicle’s operation, providing a source of stored electric power for the motor during future acceleration. Therefore, all electrical charging of the battery is provided by the hybrid electric powertrain, and no external electrical infrastructure, such as a power cord or electrical outlet, is needed. This balance between conventional and electric technology is an innovative method to improve environmental performance and decrease fuel use while eliminating the need for high electrical-demand infrastructure costs. The hybrid electric truck’s operating characteristics will remain virtually unchanged from that of a conventionally powered FedEx Express vehicle.

Eaton’s hybrid electric powertrain has been placed in the standard white FedEx Express W700 delivery truck, which utilizes a Freightliner chassis. The hybrid electric delivery vehicle will be differentiated from the standard FedEx Express delivery vehicle only by an OptiFleet brand decal on the sides and rear of the vehicle. The hybrid electric E700 has a gross vehicle weight of approximately 16,000 lbs. and a cargo capacity of approximately 670 cubic feet. 

About FedEx

FedEx Corp. provides customers and businesses worldwide with the broadest portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $25 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx and Kinko’s brands. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 240,000 employees and contractors to remain "absolutely, positively" focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit fedex.com. 

About Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District

The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (AQMD) works cooperatively to coordinate the efforts of local, state and federal government agencies, the business community, and private citizens to achieve and maintain healthy air quality for Sacramento. This vision recognizes that the AQMD alone cannot achieve healthy air for Sacramento, but that combined with its regulatory role and its lead role in development of innovative programs, it can encourage the cooperative inter-agency and public effort that will be required to improve air quality. For more information, visit www.airquality.org.

About Environmental Defense

Environmental Defense, a leading national nonprofit organization, represents more than 400,000 members. Since 1967, Environmental Defense has linked science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships to create breakthrough solutions to the most serious environmental problems. The work of Environmental Defense in this project was supported by a lead grant over three years from the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund. Additional support was received from the Hewlett Foundation, Oak Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and the David H. Smith Foundation. For more information, visit www.environmentaldefense.org.

About Eaton Corporation

Eaton Corporation is a global diversified industrial manufacturer with 2003 sales of $8.1 billion that is a leader in fluid power systems; electrical power quality, distribution and control; automotive engine air management and powertrain controls for fuel economy; and intelligent drivetrain systems for fuel economy and safety in trucks. Eaton has 51,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 100 countries. For more information, visit www.eaton.com.

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