FedEx Express today unveiled plans to test its first all-electric parcel delivery vans, plugging two of four test trucks into its Los Angeles-area fleet in June.
The first two trucks will be built by Navistar in Indiana. Another pair of vehicles from a different manufacturer will be added to the Los Angeles fleet later in 2010.
Both sets of vehicles are designed with a range that allows many FedEx Express couriers to make a full eight-hour shift of deliveries before their vehicles need recharging.
Navistar and FedEx on Tuesday are rolling out a FedEx-branded prototype all-electric truck that launches a demonstration tour of the technology on Route 66 between Chicago and Los Angeles.
The vehicle will be operated for FedEx customers, employees, and local officials.
"Electric trucks are still in their infancy, but we think they have a bright future in the mix of alternative energy vehicles," said Mitch Jackson, vice president of environmental affairs and sustainability at FedEx. "We'll be giving these trucks a real workout, helping the manufacturers refine their future offerings."
The electric truck demonstration tour is also designed to underscore a national initiative advocated by Frederick W. Smith, president, chairman and CEO of FedEx Corp., in testimony to a U.S. Senate subcommittee last month, the company said.
Smith called for a comprehensive program to encourage affordable electrification of local transportation to foster more domestic energy production, less reliance on imported petroleum, and an overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
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