FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp., announced on March 30 that it has placed into service the first of its new, low-emission, hybrid electric powered delivery vehicles in concert with the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, Environmental Defense and Eaton Corporation.The official roll out took place at a state capitol ceremony attended by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The FedEx OptiFleet E700 hybrid electric vehicle will decrease particulate emissions by 90 percent, reduce smog-causing emissions by 75 percent and travel 50 percent farther on a gallon of fuel, reducing fuel costs by one-third. Two FedEx OptiFleet E700 hybrid electric vehicles have been tested in Sacramento since late February following an agreement with the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (AQMD) to demonstrate the commercial viability of the lower-emission powertrain in heavy-duty vehicles. The project was made possible in part by a grant provided by the AQMD. FedEx Express will place 18 additional hybrid electric diesel delivery trucks into service in selected cities throughout 2004. New York City, Houston, Washington, D.C., Denver and several other cities are possible locations for future rollouts of the hybrid electric trucks. These hybrid electric vehicles will endure real-world FedEx operating conditions during 2004 to verify and prove their viability in commercial applications. FedEx Express and Environmental Defense began working together in 2000 to create a delivery truck that would dramatically decrease emissions and fuel use. Through a competitive process, Eaton Corporation was selected from more than 20 manufacturers who expressed interest in creating a cleaner vehicle using a variety of technologies. Since the beginning of the project, progress toward goals has been assessed against the 1999 FedEx Express W700 standard delivery vehicle, which represents the most common model in the FedEx Express fleet.