Isuzu Commercial Truck of America and Utilimaster announced that FedEx Express has placed a large order for the all-new Reach commercial walk-in van. The vehicles are to be delivered to FedEx by the end of 2011. FedEx Express has been operating five Reach pilot vehicles on multiple delivery routes in Arkansas, Tennessee and Michigan since the van’s introduction in March.
The smaller Reach – available through Isuzu’s nationwide network of 300 dealers – is designed to be more fuel-efficient and to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 11 tons per vehicle per year because of an aerodynamic lightweight composite body designed by Utilimaster atop an Isuzu NPR Eco-Max chassis powered by Isuzu’s 3.0-liter diesel engine.
“We have been working with Utilimaster and Isuzu since conception to develop a long-life fuel-efficient vehicle that supports the FedEx strategic sustainability objectives,” says Dennis Beal, vice president of global vehicles at FedEx Express. “They right-sized the engine down to a more fuel-efficient three liters and reduced weight with composite material while maintaining a strong chassis and a spacious interior. The vans are performing well on our routes and reducing our fuel costs as well as our carbon footprint.”
Isuzu’s 4JJ1-TC engine comes with selective catalytic reduction technology with diesel exhaust fluid injection. “We are thrilled that FedEx has recognized the potential of the Reach to offer fuel economy, durability and true commercial truck performance,” says Shaun Skinner, executive vice president and general manager of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America. “Today’s fleet and vocational buyers are looking for low cost of ownership, and this order proves that the Reach lives up to its name – it reaches a new standard
in low cost of operation compared to traditional step vans.”
Utilimaster guided the development of the Reach’s aerodynamic shape and conducted wind tunnel testing that indicated the vehicle cuts through the air with a lower drag coefficient. The aerodynamic design, along with the use of composite materials, contributes to improved fuel efficiency and reduced interior noise.
“Our development team has worked closely with FedEx stations to review vehicle fuel economy and route performance on a monthly basis,” says John Forbes, president of Utilimaster. “The results are very positive. The Reach vans are operating on the most extreme delivery routes and performing very well.”