The Electric Van

Discussion in 'FedEx Discussions' started by MrFedEx, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    From what I've been able to get from the FedEx public website, FedEx has 43 electric vans and 365 hybrid vehicles currently in service worldwide. Does this include golf carts, Hub vehicles and others that don't really qualify as bona fide delivery vehicles? Probably. And as others have pointed out, this is a tiny fraction of the FedEx fleet, and illustrates how pathetic the FedEx commitment to the environment really is. Their commitment is to hype the living daylights out of it, and pretend that they are actually doing something to positively affect pollution.

    Can anyone tell me where these vehicles are actually deployed in the US? I know that there was an all-hybrid station in the Sacramento area, and I have seen one hybrid on tour, but where are the rest of them? And how about the fabulous electric van, which supposedly entered service after it's "triumphant" Route 66 publicity tour. Other than appearing (sort of) in a recent commercial, it seems to have disappeared.

    It's interesting that FedEx has apparently rejected the diesel-hydraulic system that UPS has been evaluating. From what I have read, UPS will get back the hybrid cost premium in about 5 years, through reduced fuel usage and less maintenance (e.g. brake wear). UPS doesn't own the technology as far as I know, so FedEx basically isn't interested. Why? Because it is still cheaper to run the crap we have into the ground before scrapping it out. There is no real commitment to meaningful change.....just hype. And isn't that pretty much the case for most aspects of this company. They talk a good story, but when it comes time to actually do something, Memphis needs a Viagra before it can perform.

    We have actually been receiving new Sprinters and some Econolines, but none remotely approach "alternative" status. Nearly every station has low-mileage, high density routes that are perfect applications for hybrid and/or electric technology. Where are the green machines?

    Since FedEx absolutely, positively lies about almost everything, if any of you know where these vehicles are stationed, and how many of them there really are, I'd like to know about it. Especially the fabulous Electric Van.
     
  2. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    What if the hybrids look like other vehicles and you see them but don't know it?
     
  3. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Are you kidding? If FedEx has a hybrid, you can be assured that it will be plastered all over the vehicle. "FED-EX PROJECT GREEN" or " ALTERNATIVE ENERGY VEHICLE" or "PANDA-FRIENDLY" is going to be covering the exterior.
     
  4. hondo

    hondo promoted to mediocrity

    Seen on the streets of Chicago:modal-fedex.jpg
    modal-fedex.jpg
     
  5. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    Not really. I bet some of their vans are E85 compatible but there are only very small clues that let you know. A yellow fuel cap and maybe a FlexFuel badge.
     
  6. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    cool.
     
  7. Mr. 7

    Mr. 7 The monkey on the left.

    How do you get heat in an electric vehicle?
     
  8. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Note the Route 66 sign. It's highly likely that this photo is from the cross-country PR Tour.
     
  9. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    You burn your supplies.
     
  10. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Probably. But E85 isn't widely available. When we fuel new Econolines, it's at stations with 10% ethanol content. There is no effort to get a contract fueler that could fuel them with E85. All new diesel vehicles (Sprinters) have to use Ultra-Low-Sulfur content diesel, and they are pretty clean. Still not a hybrid or electric.
     
  11. Mr. 7

    Mr. 7 The monkey on the left.

    I'm serious.
    My route is only about 25 miles of driving each day. But, in the winter, I need some sort of heat.
    We all know that heat in a regular car comes from the hot coolant in the engine. We all also know that deriving heat via electricity is extremely inefficient and would run down the batteries of a fully electric vehicle in no time.
     
  12. scratch

    scratch Least Best Moderator Staff Member

    The company that builds these electric vans is in England and filed for bankruptcy last year. I don't know how they are doing now, UPS had been showing off the same vehicle too. It gets about a hundred miles on a charge. I laughed when I saw the Fedex commercial, UPS has a much larger fleet of so-called green vehicles and started changing out aircraft engines a long time ago.
     
  13. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    My guess is that they have to use the battery power and sacrifice some range for the necessity of having a heater.
     
  14. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    Maybe they use kerosene like the old VW Bugs.
     
  15. DOWNTRODDEN IN TEXAS

    DOWNTRODDEN IN TEXAS Active Member

    No, you will be issued a pair of battery-powered heater socks and thermals, you will be responsible for the batteries.
     
  16. whenIgetthere

    whenIgetthere Well-Known Member

    And they will come out of your yearly $130 uniform budget, while the district only budgets for half of that!!
     
  17. Mr. 7

    Mr. 7 The monkey on the left.

    You guys are killin' me :st_patrick:

    BB,
    I'm intrigued,
    I know the old VWs were air cooled, how did they add a heater with kerosene?
     
  18. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Actually, didn't the early Bugs use a gasoline heater? Also, they didn't mention that the Electric Van has no brakes. There's a large hole in the floor where you apply the Flintsone Method to slow or stop the vehicle. You can also do your business through the floor and avoid wasting time looking for a bathroom.

    This whole deal was a PR stunt. FedEx has no intention of ever buying a large fleet of these vans. Look at it. It's small, expensive, and would require FedEx to invest in additional infrastructure to support it (charging stations, specialized maintenance etc). I don't think that the company that built it has gone under yet, but electric vehicle manufacturers don't tend to last because nobody buys more than a handful of them. The only time you're ever going to see one in the real world is when the "Fred's Green Dog and Pony Show" goes on the road to show the public how "FedEx Cares" about the environment. Bottom line...they don't care.
     
  19. P1 Lates

    P1 Lates New Member

    I would just like to see one of these up close and how they compare (space-wise) to the 700 I currently drive. The big wrap around front window looks cool. Just wondering also how they perform in winter weather too.
     
  20. DOWNTRODDEN IN TEXAS

    DOWNTRODDEN IN TEXAS Active Member

    They should go to Fiskar (not the scissors...the electric car company) and have them design one. They actually make "cool" green cars!