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FEDEX'S ELECTRIC TRUCKS: POSSIBLE SIGN OF THINGS TO COME

FEDEX'S ELECTRIC TRUCKS: POSSIBLE SIGN OF THINGS TO COME

This week’s announcement that Memphis-based FedEx Express will double its fleet of all-electric vehicles to 43 is more than a new way of moving some of the wheels of the world’s largest express transportation company.

“The electric motor is certainly the most efficient means of mechanically powering wheels,” said Keshav Sondhi, head of asset management for FedEx Express Global Vehicles. “The minute you put your foot on the accelerator of the vehicle it starts driving. You get that instant torque.”

Sondhi, who runs the fleet efforts out of Memphis, is impressed with the progress in the energy density of lithium ion batteries compared to the lead acid batteries FedEx began exploring in 1992. But he is already anticipating the arrival of lithium air batteries in five to 10 years.

Sondhi, who was recently named an Aspen Institute First Mover Fellow, said the value of electric vehicles is in their fuel delivery infrastructure.

“For transportation, if we choose electricity as a means today then we become fuel agnostic,” he said. “Then we only have to figure out how we keep on powering those power plants. … Then we only have to worry about how we generate that electricity, whether we use natural gas to power the turbines or we use petroleum-based products or we use coal. Every fuel is finite. … We can use that fuel as long as we want to power that grid but once that fuel kind of depletes we can find the next source of energy to power the grid.”

The Aspen Institute recognition comes with networking opportunities with those working in similar areas with Google and Walmart to name just two.

“We’ve all been working in our fields for a while,” Sondhi said. “We have a very good handle on what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. But the exchange of ideas, the brainstorming that will go along with it … will certainly broaden the horizon.” (more)

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Article by BILL DRIES, The Daily News | Read full article here


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