FedEx To Develop Electric Hybrid Trucks

Alliance for Environmental Innovation partners with FedEx to cut emissions 90% and fuel costs by 50%.

Published: 30-Jan-2001

WASHINGTON, DC, January 29, 2001 (ENS) - FedEx Express and the conservation group Environmental Defense have committed to work together to develop the environmental standards for a diesel electric hybrid truck.

The vehicles could cut delivery truck emissions by 90 per cent and fuel costs by 50 percent. FedEx, the world's largest express transportation company, runs a fleet of 45,000 trucks.

"Together, we want to see a truck on the road that will set the standard for environmental efficiency," said Elizabeth Sturcken, project manager for the Alliance for Environmental Innovation, a project of Environmental Defense and The Pew Charitable Trusts. "We have announced an aggressive goal."

Creating such a low polluting truck will be "Difficult, yes, but achievable," said Jim Steffen, FedEx's chief engineer for vehicles. "We're very enthusiastic."

Much of the hybrid technology is already in hand. Hybrid diesel electric buses using regenerative braking which recaptures the energy that conventional vehicles lose in braking - are already running in Boston and New York City.

Drivers "won't notice the difference," Steffen said. Manufacturing costs will be higher at first, but "I fully expect pre-production hybrids to be on the road within four years," he said.

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