FRAMINGHAM, MA - Starting in November, Staples will advance its commercial delivery fleet by introducing 41 new all-electric, class six trucks in California, Missouri, and Ohio. Thirty will operate in California, 10 in Ohio, and one in Missouri.

Staples' new all-electric delivery trucks are part of an ongoing fuel efficiency initiative, started in 2006, to achieve a 40-percent improvement in fleet fuel economy by 2015. Having achieved a 30-percent improvement in fuel efficiency to-date, Staples is now working toward the goal of improving fuel economy by 10 percent with additional reductions in its carbon footprint.

The Newton all-electric trucks, manufactured by Smith Electric Vehicles, will join Staples' existing delivery fleet of nearly 2,000 vehicles in North America. The trucks deliver a top speed of 55 mph and offers end users battery ranges from 50 to 120 miles on a single charge.

Over the next five years, Staples plans to accomplish the 10-percent goal through a combination of measures including the use of all-electric trucks in high-density urban delivery areas, diesel/electric hybrids for urban delivery areas, lighter composite materials in body construction, dynamic routing software and fuel cell technology as it becomes available. Staples will also work closely with all its vehicle OEMs to continue to improve the fuel economy of its remaining conventionally-powered trucks, according to the company.

"The addition of these all-electric delivery trucks is the latest example of our commitment to continually improve our delivery fleet and its impact on the environment," said Mike Payette, manager of fleet equipment at Staples. "Over time, we'll look to increase the number of these trucks in the Staples fleet as an effective way to service our delivery customers while reducing our carbon emissions."

The initial phase of Staples' fuel efficiency initiative was conducted from 2006 through early 2010, resulting in fuel economy improvements of 30 percent from an industry standard 8.1 mpg to 10.1 mpg and a reduction of about 9,000 metric tons of CO2. This was accomplished through a collaborative effort among Staples executives, fleet drivers, and various OEMs to incorporate street wise and industry best practices. These measures included mechanical and electronic speed reduction, altering transmission shift points, electronic idle reduction, and driver training programs, according to the company.