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Mar 312010

From Green Right Now Reports

FedEx announced Tuesday that it will put the first all-electric FedEx parcel delivery trucks to be used in the United States on the road in the Los Angeles area starting in June.

FedEx electric truck

FedEx electric truck

The four new trucks will join a fleet of 1,800 FedEx alternative energy vehicles, hybrids and all-electrics, already operating around the world.

John Formisano, vice president Global Vehicles with FedEx Express said the move should help “speed the  transition to a cleaner transportation system.”

The company is buying the all-electric trucks from two suppliers to test their efficiency.

Two of the new all-electric trucks will come from Navistar and will be put into operation this June. They are being assembled in Indiana and are based on the “Modec” design already used by FedEx in Europe in London. Five more Modec vehicles have been ordered for use in Paris.The other two  trucks will come from an undisclosed manufacturer and make their debut in LA later in 2010.

Frederick W. Smith, president, chairman and CEO of FedEx Corp., called on the U.S. Senate last month to support an electrification of the country’s transportation network to build energy independence and reduce greenhouse gases. In testimony to a Senate subcommittee, Smith urged Senators to come up with a comprehensive and affordable way to help consumers travel the country in electric vehicles.

To highlight the need for an electric car/truck network, a FedEx branded electric truck, unveiled in Chicago Tuesday will travel the historic Route 66, driven by FedEx employees and local officials, from Chicago to LA.
The truck will then be displayed at the FORTUNE Brainstorm Green conference for environmental leaders set for April 12-14.
“Electric trucks are still in their infancy, but we think they have a bright future in the mix of alternative energy vehicles,” said Mitch Jackson, vice president of environmental affairs and sustainability. “Reliability and maintainability is critical for FedEx because of our commitment to superior customer service, so we’ll be giving these trucks a real workout, helping the manufacturers refine their future offerings.

“Down the road, we see the possibility of charging electric vehicle fleets with low- or zero-emission electricity generated on site by such innovations as solar electric arrays, like those at FedEx locations in California, New Jersey and Germany, or the Bloom Energy Server, another new technology we’re helping to pioneer through evaluating it at our solar-powered hub in Oakland.”