FedEx claims to be the first among its U.S. parcel delivery competitors to put all-electric trucks to work.
However FedEx doesn’t officially have the title yet, because the vehicles aren’t slated to enter service until June.
The four purpose-built electric trucks will be used in the Los Angeles area.
FedEx is testing two all-electric trucks from Navistar, based on a Modec design that FedEx is using in Europe. So far FedEx has 10 electric vans in London and five on order for Paris.
Another company will provide two more trucks, and later this year 10 hybrid electrics are expected to be put in service in Oakland.
“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, environmental affairs and sustainability for FedEx.
“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,” Jackson said.
FedEx has made great use of hybrid delivery vans so far.
Indeed, its Bronx, New York, operation in November became the company’s first to exclusively use hybrid delivery vans. The addition of 51 new delivery vehicles brought the facility’s total to about 100 hybrid trucks.
Just last week FedEx competitor UPS announced a new initiative designed to trim emissions.
The firm expects to save up to 793,000 gallons of fuel a year by using technology to streamline its pickup schedule for small- and medium-sized business shipping customers.
Commercial trucks account for about 12 percent of miles driven but produce about 25 percent of all emissions.
U.S. corporate fleets purchase about 300,000 vehicles a year, including cargo vans.