The world’s largest express transportation company continues to bolster its fuel efficiency with a significant expansion this summer of lower polluting, energy efficient vehicles.
While doubling the fleet of all-electric vehicles to 43, FedEx is also adding more hybrid-electrics, light composite vehicles and upgrading over a tenth of its conventional vehicle fleet to more energy-efficient models.
FedEx Express is adding all-electric and hybrid-electric vehicles to dense urban routes that have a lot of starting and stopping. The use of regenerative braking and electric motors significantly improves the efficiency of the vehicles on such urban routes.
Not just an expansion in vehicle count, these vehicles will be studied to help evolve all-electric vehicle technology and to establish a foundation of understanding on utility grid needs by modeling impact of future all-electric vehicle growth on the shared energy grid. (See below for details)
“On high-mileage routes, FedEx is upgrading vehicles with 4,000 fuel efficient, lower emitting BlueTEC clean diesel Sprinter Vans,” explains Keshav Sondhi, manager of Asset Management for FedEx Express Global Vehicles. “Each Sprinter is at least 100% more fuel efficient than the most commonly found alternative it replaces.”
Since launching the first Sprinter in 2000, FedEx has put close to 1.4 billion miles on these more fuel efficient vehicles, saving over 66 million gallons of fuel compared to their predecessors.
FedEx Express has also been piloting five composite vehicles from Utilimaster. Dubbed “The Reach,” it is able to achieve 35% better fuel economy than its predecessor and has been performing well. The smaller, more efficient engine and low weight of the composite materials, which includes recycled rubber material, resin, fiberglass and poly core, compared to aluminum, allows the vehicle to achieve these fuel efficiencies.
Studying the Effects of Electric Vehicles on the Power Grid
* In New York, FedEx Express will be working with GE and Columbia University’s Engineering School to study energy grid impacts in an effort to project how large vehicle deployments would impact the energy grid.
* In Chicago, FedEx Express will be comparing different all-electric vehicle technologies to determine what works best for its fleet needs.
* In Memphis, FedEx Express is utilizing Enova Systems flexible drive technology to retrofit existing vehicles to make them all-electrics, saving resources through using existing vehicle bodies. And, FedEx has added five Transit Connect Electric vans from Ford Motor Company and Azure Dynamics to support the corporate Information Technology Asset Disposal program, driving regularly scheduled routes to pick up, recycle, reuse and dispose of IT assets.
* In Los Angeles FedEx Express is diversifying its fleet, adding an FCCC eCell to its current four Navistar eStar all-electric vehicles, and is in the midst of adding 45 new FCCC-Eaton hybrid-electric pickup and delivery vehicles to its fleet.