The U.S Postal Service has long flirted with electric vehicles for its fleet. Now it's FedEx's turn. The company debuted the first all-electric FedEx delivery trucks this week--all four of which will navigate the streets of Los Angeles beginning in June 2010.
Like USPS, FedEx has decided to test out EV technology from a few different companies. Navistar is providing two of the EV trucks (pictured), which are based on a design currently being used by FedEx in London. The other two trucks will be manufactured by an as-yet-unnamed company for delivery later this year. No word on cost, but John Formisano, Fedex's VP of Global Vehicles, acknowledges, "The cost of the 80 kilowatt-hour battery needed to propel this truck and its cargo 100 miles is well above the cost of a large luxury sedan." The price will have to go way down before FedEx and similar fleets can seriously invest in all-electric vehicles.
That doesn't mean that FedEx can't rely on other alternative vehicle technologies. The company has operates the largest hybrid fleet in the transportation industry, with 300 hybrid electric vehicles in operation. And by the end of June, FedEx will have 1,869 vehicles in service around the world. We'll be watching both USPS and FedEx, though, to see what EV technology they ultimately choose. Their decisions will inevitably have a big impact on the future of the EV truck industry.