Fedex Office is joining the delivery industry in a shift towards EVs, in news of a trial with Ford EVs. Proponents say the shift will improve the bottom line, while addressing urban air pollution and climate change.
FedEx Office will test the suitability of Ford E-Transit electric cargo vans in different road and weather conditions across nine markets in the U.S.
FedEx pledges to install electric charging stations at each van’s home location, and along courier routes, boosting the charging infrastructure in those nine markets, and may spur similar moves by other logistics companies.
This move is in support of parent Fedex’s commitment to achieving carbon neutral operations by 2040 by converting its entire pickup and delivery fleet to zero tailpipe emissions vehicles.
FedEx Office, the printing, packing, and shipping services subsidiary of FedEx (NYSE:FDX) will assess the suitability of Ford (NASDAQ:F) electric delivery vehicles across its local shipping network, FedEx SameDay City. The move is part of its goal to align with parent Fedex’s 2040 goals to make its operations carbon neutral.
FedEx Office Ford electric van test drive supports parent sustainability goals
A pilot program to test Ford E-Transit electric cargo vans by FedEx Office, the local printing, packing and shipping services arm of FedEx, in support of the latter’s 2040 sustainability goals. Specifically, the company seeks to achieve zero tailpipe emissions across its fleet, with interim goals of having 50% of its fleet be electric by 2025, and a 100% by 2030.
FedEx committed to spending $2 billion in 2021 and set a goal of achieving carbon neutral operations by 2040. The pilot is focused on nine of its markets across the US, and will assess vehicle performance in varying road and weather conditions. FedEx Office has over 2,000 locations and 32 FedEx SameDay City markets serving more than 1,900 cities.
Pilot has potential to boost local charging infrastructure and foster innovation
As part of the pilot program, FedEx is building charging stations at the home locations of the van it will be using in 9 test markets across the US, and supplementing that with additional stations along the routes travelled, as needed. FedEx has teamed up with power utilities, regulatory agencies and local governments to invest in building more than 500 charging stations across California, for example.
Developing emissions-free delivery services also extends to testing electric carts in high-density urban areas like Manhattan’s Diamond District. Successful usage of the Trace electric carts developed by Brightdrop is being expanded to 10 additional markets in 2022.
FedEx is also working with US robotics company Nuro to explore the use of self-driving, autonomous multi-stop and appointment-based deliveries, using a fully autonomous electric delivery vehicle capable of operating public roads.
Zero tailpipe emissions by 2040 appears achievable for ground fleet
FedEx will look for developments in the class 8 and heavy truck market to convert its entire fleet of 170,000 trucks to electric to achieve its zero tailpipe emissions goal by 2040. Yet it is no stranger to using electric vehicles in its delivery fleet – it added 1,000 EVs in 2018 made by China’s FDG Electric Vehicles Ltd., and followed that up with a further 500 in 2021 from GM’s (NYSE:GM) BrightDrop unit.
Yet for FedEx to become carbon neutral in its operations it will need to offset emissions from its aircraft flee. Developments in alternate aviation fuels are at early stages, while driving further efficiencies from aircraft design has limited upside potential.