22 July 2009
FedEx Corporation announced the conversion of 92 delivery trucks to diesel-electric hybrids. It was the first time standard FedEx delivery trucks were converted to hybrid-electric systems. The addition of the 92 trucks increases the FedEx fleet of hybrid-electric vehicles from 172 to 264.
The hybrid conversions were produced in Charlotte, NC, during the past six months. The converted hybrids were developed with Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC) and Eaton Corporation, which provided the hybrid-electric systems. The standard FedEx trucks used in the retrofit program were 2000 or 2001 models with 300,000 to 500,000 miles driven.
In converting the standard delivery vehicles, the powertrain equipment—including the engine, transmission, fuel tank and drive shaft—were replaced with a 2007 Cummins ISB 200 hp engine and Eaton hybrid-electric system. Costs were reduced by utilizing the existing chassis and body.
The vehicles feature a diesel engine coupled with an electric motor/generator and lithium-ion batteries. The batteries capture and store energy during the regenerative braking phase of vehicle operation. The hybrid controller selects the most efficient mode of operation—diesel or electric—depending upon operating conditions and driver demand.
The retrofit hybrid trucks are projected to improve fuel economy by 44%, decrease PM by 96% and reduce NOx by 75% compared to the standard FedEx Express delivery truck.
The 92 retrofitted hybrid vehicles will be placed into service in California, primarily in the Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco metropolitan areas. FedEx applauded the California government for providing incentive funding for hybrid truck purchases, which allowed FedEx to place its first hybrid truck into service in the state in 2004 and continue to add hybrids to its fleet during the past five years. The FedEx hybrid-electric fleet—the largest in North America—has logged over four million miles of revenue service since 2004.