FedEx, along with Smith Electric and Plug Power are adding fuel cell range extenders to 20 battery-electric delivery trucks for real world testing. FedEx is doing so with the aid of a $3 million federal grant.
According to Gas2.org, “The hydrogen fuel cell range extenders will about double the driving range of the Smith Electric Vehicles delivery vans, which can travel about 80 miles between charges. That’s good enough for extremely local delivery, but many routes have drivers covering 150 miles or more on a regular delivery route.
“While electric vehicles are capable of covering such distances, the costs and recharging times go up accordingly. FedEx has tried out a wide range of electric vehicles, but so far none can cover a full day’s work. Rival UPS has gone so far as try out electric-assisted trikes in Europe.”
So, to recap, the fuel cell will provide longer range, zero emissions, and if FedEx doesn’t backslide, then these battery-electric, fuel cell vehicles will keep 20 traditional gas-guzzling vans off the road. Perhaps the FedEx slogan, “The world on time” means the delivery company is willing to take a big step in changing with the times.