FedEx Reacting

SUBHEAD: Rising oil prices spurring FedEx to adopt electric vehicles, hybrids, and even pedalpower. By Brian Merchant on 2 April 2012 for TreeHugger - ( Image above: FedEx Battery electric Navistar eStar truck at Oakland International Airport . From (

Different governments and businesses react differently to the changing landscape of the world. For instance, when it becomes clear that gas prices are rising, and will likely continue to rise for the foreseeable future, some decide to make a big show of yelling at the president and stamping their feet.

Others, the smarter ones, recognize that it may be time to adapt. NPR has a story about how FedEx is responding to a world of scarcer and more expensive oil by upgrading its fleet:

For delivery vans, says Smith, FedEx is betting on electric or hybrid vehicles.

"An all-electric pickup and delivery van will operate at a 75 percent less per-mile cost than an internal combustion engine variant," he says. "Now, I didn't say 7 1/2 percent — [I said] 75 percent. These are big numbers." Smith says he believes that six years from now, electric vehicles will be in wide commercial use, transporting everything from FedEx packages to plumbers and pizza.

The company is also investing in biofuels, especially algal blends, to replace the petroleum-heavy jet fuel blend it (and just about every other member of the aviation industry) uses today.

And, unsurprisingly, FedEx will be taking advantage of ever-cheaper natural gas as a fuel for trucks.

The only other institution I can think of off the top of my head that has unveiled such a radical plan to lessen its dependence on oil is perhaps the U.S. military. Indeed—this kind of vision is going to be increasingly important as oil prices continue to tick upwards.\

Image above: FedEx is testing these Urban Cab delivery trikes in Paris. They are pedal-powered but assisted by an electric motor. From (


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