Adding to its green fleet of more than 170 hybrid electric delivery vans worldwide, FedEx has decided to try out fully electric vehicles as well with a small group of 10 London-based test trucks.
FedEx has ordered 10 purpose-built zero tailpipe emissions cargo vans from UK-based electric vehicle manufacturer Modec. The new electric trucks are specifically built for the duty cycles required in stop-start city driving, can go 70 miles on one charge, and can haul up to 2 tonnes (2.2 US tons) of cargo.
The trucks are designed around a swappable battery pack that can be changed out during the day to avoid downtime while charging the vehicles. Modec actually leases the batteries to its customers, so as new battery technologies become available the batteries can be replaced with the new ones thereby relieving the natural process of obsolescence.
FedEx claims that their group of 170 hybrid electric delivery vans is already the largest fleet of hybrids in the transportation industry and has committed themselves to an overall 20% improvement in the fuel efficiency of their vehicle fleet by 2020. These 10 electric trucks, however small a gesture, represent yet another step towards that goal.
FedEx’s major competitor, UPS, has been pumping up their green efforts recently as well with the introduction of hydraulic hybrids and hybrid electrics. In fact, last month, UPS announced that they’ll be putting 12 of the very same Modec vans that FedEx is now touting into service in the UK and Germany.
Initially, this may just be a case of greenwashing one-upsmanship, but if it leads to an actual fleetwide shift to fully electric vehicles for either or both of these companies, then it’s all worth it in the end.
Source: Green Car Congress