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FedEx Expands Its U.S. Electric Vehicle Fleet With Vans from China

FedEx announced Tuesday that it’s ramping up use of electric delivery vehicles. The company will bring on an additional 1,000 “purpose-built” vehicles supplied by Hangzhou, China-based Chanje Energy, according to the delivery and logistics company.

It’s not the company’s first foray into electric vehicles. FedEx first began to integrate some into its fleet in 2009. One reason is likely regulatory. With climate change, air quality, and engine emissions as inherent issues, companies such as United Parcel Service and Deutsche Post unit DHL have felt government pressure to find greener alternatives to traditional trucks, Reuters reported.

There is also a financial advantage to the shift. According to FedEx, each shift from petroleum- to electric-fueled delivery truck annually saves 2,000 gallons of fuel and 20 tons of emissions. This is an industry it’s normal to come up with tactics like plotting delivery routes to only take right turns in order to save idling time in traffic.

One of the electric vehicles, or EVs, which are made in China, can carry 6,000 pounds of cargo and travel more than 150 miles on a full charge. Such distance limitations are a reality of technology tradeoffs, as automobile manufacturers have found. Greater range requires larger batteries. But the additional power storage adds weight and takes up room that, in this case, could otherwise be used for cargo.

FedEx will directly purchase 100 of the vehicles and lease the remaining 900 through Ryder System.