December 1, 2005
(Los Angeles) Environmental Defense and FedEx Express will be honored today as recipients of a Blue Sky Award for their innovative partnership in putting hybrid delivery trucks on the road. The Blue Sky Awards will be presented by WestStart-CALSTART, America’s leading advanced transportation technologies consortium, during the “2020: California’s Transportation Energy Future” conference in Los Angeles. According to WestStart-CALSTART, FedEx and Environmental Defense are responsible for their “nearly single-handed placement of commercial hybrid trucks on the map for corporate America.”
“Environmental Defense is honored to accept the Blue Sky Award with our partners FedEx Express,” said Elizabeth Sturcken who manages corporate partnerships for Environmental Defense. “A revolution in the trucking industry is underway,” said Sturcken. “With these trucks FedEx is leading the pack. Environmental Defense now challenges all fleet owners to adopt clean trucks to reduce air pollution, oil consumption and climate change impacts.”
Environmental Defense and FedEx Express began to work together in March 2000 to develop a low-emission, fuel-efficient delivery vehicle for the FedEx Express fleet. They selected a drive train by Eaton Corporation to use in the FedEx OptiFleet E700 hybrid electric vehicle that decreases particulate emissions by 96 percent and travels 57 percent farther on a gallon of fuel, reducing fuel costs by over a third.
Diesel pollution worsens global warming, smog and acid rain. It also contributes to asthma, the nation’s fastest growing chronic disease, with 20 million Americans now afflicted. Hybrid electric trucks reduce all these forms of pollution while also reducing the nation’s consumption of oil.
In 2004, FedEx Express began using 18 hybrid vehicles to deliver FedEx packages in four U.S. cities. FedEx is currently taking steps to introduce more of these vehicles into its fleet over time. For every 10,000 conventional FedEx trucks that are replaced by hybrids, diesel fuel use will drop by 6.5 million gallons a year, the equivalent of 930,000 barrels of crude oil.
“With the high cost of fuel we could all feel a panic at the pump today,” said Sturcken. “And while drivers could choose to drive less, delivery fleets don’t have that option. Fortunately solutions like the ones demonstrated by FedEx Express could lead to real savings at the pump and for the environment.”