November 20, 2018

Ryder and FedEx to roll out 1,000 electric panel vans in next two years

Ryder and FedEx to roll out 1,000 electric panel vans in next two years

FedEx Express says EV trucks will reduce emissions on commercial and residential routes in California.

By Ben Ames

Fleet management and transportation giant Ryder System Inc. has teamed with FedEx Corp. to purchase a fleet of 1,000 electric trucks, a deal the partners called the largest commercial electric vehicle (EV) purchase in the U.S.

Under terms of the arrangement, Memphis-based FedEx purchased 100 of the Chanje V8100 electric delivery vehicles, while Ryder bought 900 of them. FedEx will lease the vehicles from Ryder and use them for its FedEx Express U.S. commercial and residential pick-up and delivery service routes, deploying them throughout California over the next two years.

The vehicles are manufactured by FDG in Hangzhou, China, and purchased through Chanje Energy Inc., the company's subsidiary for global business. Miami-based Ryderwill provide support services for all of the vehicles through its ChoiceLease fleet.

Ryder and FedEx did not specify the cost of the purchase.

While electric vehicle technology itself is not new, the large scale of this rollout could enable broader adoption of commercial EV technology to a wider market, the partners said.

Both Ryder and FedEx have also reserved electric semi trucks from Tesla Inc., joining a list of major retailers and transportation providers that have pre-ordered the battery-powered, 18-wheeled vehicle that is set to launch in 2019.However, FedEx has said that it plans to deploy those trucks to FedEx Freight, its less-than-truckload (LTL) unit.

In contrast, FedEx plans to use Chanje's medium-duty electric panel vans for its local, multiple-stop delivery routes.

The Chanje EV can store 675 cubic feet of cargo and is configured to match the current shelving, specifications, and workflow that FedEx Express delivery drivers use today, without the emissions, noise, or maintenance associated with gas or diesel vehicles. Each Chanje EV can carry about 6,000 pounds of cargo and travel more than 150 miles when fully charged, giving FedEx the potential to save 2,000 gallons of fuel while avoiding 20 tons of emissions, per vehicle each year, the company says.

According to FedEx, both the large and medium truck models fit into its long-term goal of promoting wider adoption of alternative-fuel, electric, and hybrid electric vehicles in order to reduce global emissions, while diversifying and expanding renewable energy solutions.

"With our focus on innovation and technology, combined with our entry into the EV market more than a year ago, we've made it easy for customers such as FedEx to adopt sustainable, advanced vehicle technologies," Dennis Cooke, President - Global Fleet Management Solutions for Ryder, said in a release. "We continue to see broadening interest in EVs from businesses of various sizes and industries looking to outsource - especially in the final mile delivery space where a smaller, more environmentally-friendly vehicle is required." 

Ryder is the exclusive sales channel, service, and warranty partner for Chanje and its medium-duty EVs, also providing truck leasing and preventive maintenance solutions to customers. It will support the FedEx fleet by opening access to Ryder's network of 800 facilities across North America to support its Chanje electric vehicle fleet, which will help maximize uptime, lower costs, and keep the FedEx fleet moving, Ryder said.

About the Author

Ben Ames
Senior Editor
Ben Ames has spent 20 years as a journalist since starting out as a daily newspaper reporter in Pennsylvania in 1995. From 1999 forward, he has focused on business and technology reporting for a number of trade journals, beginning when he joined Design News and Modern Materials Handling magazines. Ames is author of the trail guide "Hiking Massachusetts" and is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism.

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