FedEx Express adding up to 75 hybrid trucks to fleet

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FedEx Express, a division of FedEx, will add as many as 75 diesel-electric hybrid trucks to its fleet over the next 12 months.

The exact number will depend upon pricing and availability, FedEx said. The day after the April 22 announcement, two new FedEx hybrid trucks debuted in Washington, D.C. FedEx now uses only 18 hybrid trucks, so adding 75 would quintuple the number.

The announcement illustrates the “growing viability of hybrid trucks,” said John Formisano, FedEx Express vice president of global vehicles. The E700 decreases particulate emissions by 96 percent and travels 57 percent farther on a gallon of fuel than a conventional FedEx truck, the company announced.

The hybrid truck is a joint initiative among FedEx, Eaton and the non-profit group Environmental Defense. Eaton produced the hybrid electric powertrain, which uses a computer to determine the most effective combination of the diesel engine and the electric motor, depending on operating conditions.

“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., rollout,” said Jim Sweetnam, senior vice president of the Eaton Truck Group.

FedEx Express began working with Environmental Defense four years ago to create a next-generation delivery vehicle.

“As fuel prices continue to rise, fuel-efficient trucks are an investment that every company should be making,” said Gwen Ruta, Environmental Defense director of corporate partnerships.