Hybrid and Electric Trucks and Vans
The United States is the world’s most dependent nation on oil. Soaring prices hurt our ability to recover from the recession. Mideast conflicts demonstrate our lack of energy security. The recent BP gulf spill is estimated to have caused over $40 billion in damage. Strip mining Canada for tar sands causes environmental damage, as does the energy-intensive conversion of tar sands into oil.
President Obama announced a goal of cutting U.S. oil import by one-third by 2025. Controversial to the plan is more offshore oil drilling. Welcome are the initiatives of the National Clean Fleets Partnership. This public-private partnership will help large companies reduce diesel and gasoline use in their fleets by incorporating electric vehicles, alternative fuels, and fuel-saving measures into their daily operations. The partnership is part of the DOE Vehicle Technology Program’s “Clean Cities” initiative.
AT&T, FedEx, PepsiCo, UPS and Verizon – Partnership Charter Members – announced plans to save 7 million gallons of diesel and gasoline fuel by deploying 20,000 advanced technology vehicles including hybrid and electric trucks. These charter members represent five of the nation’s 10 largest national fleets and collectively own and operate more than 275,000 vehicles.
Large commercial fleets are heavily dependent on petroleum-based fuels (gasoline and diesel) to deliver their goods and services every day. In 2009, there were more than 3 million large commercial fleet vehicles on the road, consuming nearly 4 billion gallons of fuel. Fleets, which are typically centrally managed and comprised of a large number of vehicles, offer significant opportunities to reduce fuel use and carbon pollution.
FedEx Electric and Hybrid Fleet
FedEx has 19 all-electric vans and trucks and 330-hybrid diesel and hybrid gasoline vans and trucks. Those 348 have driven over 7.7 million miles to reducing fuel use by almost 300,000 gallons and carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 3,000 metric tons. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the DOE, and CALSTART have recognized the FedEx hybrid vehicle project for its role in spurring hybrid truck advancements.
FedEx fleet includes Navistar and Modec electric delivery vans. E700 Eaton hybrids are heavily used in New York. Fiat’s Iveco diesel hybrid delivery vans are used in Milan and other cities. Azure gasoline parallel hybrids (Ford E450 chassis and Utilimaster body) make deliveries in California cities such as LA and Sacramento. Azure is now building thousands of Ford Transit Connect Electric Vans.
Also being hybridized are the traditional FedEx 16,000 pound vans with a cargo capacity of approximately 670 cubic feet. Eaton’s hybrid electric system has been placed in the standard white FedEx Express W700 delivery truck, which utilizes a Freightliner chassis and an Utilimaster body, and designated E700. FedEx Ground is working with Parker Hannifin Corporation to test a hybrid hydraulic technology with on a heavier class vehicle (Class 6).
FedEx is thinking outside the truck. Couriers in New York City and in London’s West End deliver many of their packages on foot, reducing vehicle emissions and traffic congestion. In Paris, electric tricycle delivery drivers zip packages to awaiting customers.
UPS Hybrid Fleet
UPS has over 50 hybrid diesel delivery trucks. Delivery trucks make lots of stops and capture lots of braking energy. The trucks have 60 percent to 70 percent higher fuel efficiency and emit 40 percent less carbon dioxide than normal UPS delivery trucks. UPS invests an added $7,000 per truck for these fuel-efficient hybrids, and saves over $7,000 in fuel in less than three years.
UPS also demonstrated its hydraulic hybrid delivery vehicle at the South Coast Air Quality Management District in Diamond Bar, California. The unique UPS delivery vehicle uses hydraulic pumps and hydraulic storage tanks to store energy, similar to what is done with electric motors and batteries in hybrid electric vehicles. Fuel economy is increased in three ways: vehicle-braking energy is recovered that normally is wasted; the engine is operated more efficiently; and the engine can be shut off when stopped or decelerating. The vehicle was designed with the support of the UPS, Eaton Corporation – Fluid Power, International Truck and Engine Corporation, U.S. Army – National Automotive Center, and Morgan-Olson. UPS has experimented with two hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, a Sprinter fuel cell van in Ontario, California and one in Ann Arbor, Michigan. UPS Fleet Details
UPS is going green to make more green – money. Fuel costs UPS over 2 billion dollars every year. Their approach to saving fuel is not based on one big technology breakthrough. Rather, it is based upon hundreds of smart decisions. For example, USP designed delivery routes to minimize left turns because turning across traffic is not only more dangerous, it requires longer idling time, wastes fuel and creates more congestion. The right-turn only approach saved UPS 3,000,000 gallons of fuel.
National Clean Fleets Partnership and the U.S. DOE
Through the National Clean Fleets Partnership, the Department of Energy will help companies:
- Reduce fuel use through the use of more efficient vehicles and technologies, including hybrids
- Replace gasoline and diesel vehicles with alternative fuels, such as electricity, natural gas, biodiesel, ethanol, hydrogen, or propane
Partners will benefit from:
- Opportunities for technical assistance and collaboration, including: opportunities for peer-to-peer information exchange; collaboration with DOE and national laboratories surrounding research and development initiatives; and assistance in pursuing group purchasing—so that smaller companies work with their larger peers to get the benefits of purchasing advanced vehicles in bulk.
- DOE technical tools and resources: DOE has developed a wide range of technical tools to help partner companies navigate the world of alternative fuels and advanced vehicles. A diverse collection of cost calculators, interactive maps, customizable database searches, and mobile applications puts vital information and analysis at fleets’ fingertips.
This Department of Energy initiative will compliment the Environmental Protection Agency’s Smart way Transport partnership program with the freight industry by furthering efforts to improve efficiency in goods movement and reducing our dependency on foreign oil.