The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

FedEx to Use Federal Grant for Electric Lift Trucks

April 21, 2009

SPRINGFIELD, MO – The U.S. Department of Energy awarded $41.9 million to fund 13 fuel cell technology programs. FedEx will get $1.3 million to deploy 35 fuel cell systems as battery replacements for a complete fleet of electric lift trucks at its existing service center in Springfield, Miss.

"FedEx is committed to operating and innovating in new ways that can help our business and our industry. We seek fuel-efficient and environmentally beneficial technologies in an effort to maximize efficiencies. This project will deploy 35 fuel cell systems as battery replacements for a complete fleet of electric lift trucks at FedEx Freight's service center in Springfield, Missouri," according to a statement by Douglas Duncan, president and chief executive officer of FedEx Freight Corporation.

FedEx currently operates the largest fleet of commercial hybrid trucks in North America with a goal to improve vehicle fuel efficiency 20 percent by 2020. Duncan described the company's "Reduce, Replace, and Revolutionize" strategy to meet this goal:

  • In London, liquid petroleum gas (LPG) Mercedes-Benz sprinter vans were introduced, which reduce CO2 emissions by 12 percent. FedEx also plans to use 10 zero-emission electric delivery vehicles in the United Kingdom.
  • In Japan, the company teamed up with General Motors in the test operation of a fuel-cell delivery vehicle for one year.
  • In Washington, D.C., FedEx operates biodiesel-fueled trucks and diesel-electric trucks.
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