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COMPETITION WATCH: FedEx Express adds hybrid trucks to fleet

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- FedEx Express has announced it is adding up to 75 hybrid diesel-electric trucks to its fleet wi...

WASHINGTON, D.C. — FedEx Express has announced it is adding up to 75 hybrid diesel-electric trucks to its fleet within the next year.

The purchases will add to FedEx Express’s current fleet of 18 hybrid trucks.

“Placing hybrid trucks in Washington D.C., and the planned increase for next year reflects the growing viability of hybrid trucks,” said John Formisano, vice-president of Global Vehicles, FedEx Express. “It also shows the commitment of FedEx to pursue the use of promising technologies that both reduce fuel costs and provide more environmentally responsive vehicles for the communities in which we live and work.”

The purchase is a joint initiative with the Environmental Defense and Eaton Corporation. The E700 hybrid electric trucks reduce particulate emissions by 96 per cent while travelling 57 per cent farther on a gallon of fuel, the company reports. That results in a reduction of fuel costs by more than 33 per cent.

“The commitment by FedEx to purchase hybrids demonstrates the business viability of these trucks on the road,” said Gwen Ruta, director of corporate partnerships, Environmental Defense. “As fuel prices continue to rise, fuel efficient trucks are an investment that every company should be making. And since hybrids also reduce air pollution, oil dependency and climate change, they’re not only good for business but good for America.”

Eaton Corp. designed the powertrain for the hybrids and Freightliner Custom Chassis provided the chassis.

“Eaton continues to be pleased with the performance – and the potential – of our advanced technology hybrid powertrain system,” said Jim Sweetnam, senior vice-president and group executive of Eaton’s Truck Group. “The system is working extremely well in FedEx Express trucks in Sacramento, New York City and Tampa, with high reliability, and we look forward to continued success with the Washington, D.C. roll-out. In order to encourage wider adoption of hybrid technology, we need the support of Congress for the passage of incentive tax credits for purchasing this clean, fuel-efficient technology. Doing so would provide benefits for our communities, our environment and our nation.”

Testing by the Southwest Research Institute has found hybrid vehicles deliver a reduction of PM by 96 per cent, NOx by 65 per cent and increased fuel efficiency of 57 per cent compared to a 1999 baseline vehicle.

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