FedEx Plans to Have HEV Fleet by 2004

February 11, 2001 by Jeff Shepard

FedEx Corp. (Memphis, TN) has teamed with the Alliance for Environmental Innovation (Boston, MA) to develop a hybrid vehicle which would cut their delivery trucks' fuel use in half and emissions by 90 percent. FedEx, which runs a fleet of around 45,000 trucks, hopes to have the vehicle designed by the end of 2001, construction finished by mid-2002, field tests completed by mid-2003, and then production-level models available for purchase by late 2004.

The project will use as its baseline model FedEx's 1999 truck, which has a cargo capacity of about 670 cubic feet and a 6,000-pound payload. The future vehicles must have a range of at least 400 miles and a cruising speed of at least 65mph.

“Together, we want to see a truck on the road that will set the standard for environmental efficiency," says Elizabeth Sturcken, project manager for the Alliance for Environmental Innovation. “We have announced an aggressive goal."

Is creating such a low-polluting truck feasible? “Difficult, yes, but achievable," says Jim Steffen, FedEx's chief engineer for vehicles. “We're very enthusiastic."