FedEx and Brightdrop recently announced that the first 150 Zevo 600 electric vans have been delivered to facilities around southern California. This would make for one of the biggest deployments of electric vans to date.
“This shows how BrightDrop is delivering sustainable solutions at scale to customers today, and we couldn’t be happier to be part of FedEx’s sustainability journey,” said Travis Katz, president and CEO of BrightDrop. “Our Zevo 600 has been a record-setting vehicle from the start. From a record-setting time to market, to delivering one of the largest fleets of electric delivery vans on the road today, BrightDrop is showing the world what sustainable delivery looks like.”
For GM, this is big news because it’s the fastest vehicle they’ve brought from design to market in the company’s history. This is also a big deal for FedEx, because it means they’re actually making progress toward a goal of zero tailpipe emissions by 2040.
“At FedEx, we have ambitious sustainability goals, and our phased approach to vehicle electrification is a crucial part of our roadmap to achieve carbon neutral global operations,” said Mitch Jackson, chief sustainability officer, FedEx. “In just under six months, we’ve taken delivery of 150 BrightDrop Zevo 600s for our parcel pickup and delivery fleet. In today’s climate of chip shortages and supply chain issues, that’s no ordinary feat and a true testament to the collaboration between FedEx and BrightDrop.”
Buying EVs is obviously not enough if you actually want to drive them anywhere, so FedEx is also in the process of installing thousands and thousands of vehicle charging stations. They’ve already installed 500 stations in southern California, which means these vehicles can be put to work right away. For both these stations and for future ones, the company has to work with utilities and local governments to make sure they can get the power they need, as they’ll be pulling a lot more juice than the average Tesla, and there will be hundreds of them in every state.
In some cases this will require the company to generate some of its own electricity, either on-site or by working with a supplier to beef up local generation elsewhere on the grid.
“For FedEx to successfully achieve our sustainability goals, it will require collaboration across the public, non-profit and corporate sectors,” said Jackson. “Our ongoing collaboration with BrightDrop is a perfect example of what is possible when two organizations come together and work toward achieving similar goals in pursuit of a better world.”
FedEx also wants us to know that this isn’t their first attempt at using more environmentally-friendly vehicles. In 2003, it was the first company to use a hybrid-electric delivery vehicle for both pickup and delivery. Going further back, it had a short-range BEV delivery vehicle in testing, but with less capable lead-acid batteries that were readily available at the time.
In addition to fielding vehicle cleaners, FedEx also points out that it has long advocated for stronger efficiency standards for vehicles, which makes a lot of sense considering how many vehicles they’ve fueled up over the years.
Images provided by FedEx.
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