FedEx Express recently placed a hybrid electric-powered delivery truck into service in Sacramento, CA. The vehicle's powertrain was manufactured by Eaton Corp.

The OptiFleet E700 will decrease particulate emissions by 90%, reduce smog-producing emissions by 75% and travel 50% farther on a gallon of fuel, according to FedEx. A one-third reduction in fuel costs is expected.

According to Eaton, the hybrid electric powertrain combines a diesel engine and an electric motor to drive the vehicle. “A computer determines the most efficient combination, depending on current operating conditions and driver demand,” the company explains. The original 6-cyl. engine was replaced by a 4-cyl. version

The package-delivery company plans to put 18 more hybrid electric diesel vehicles on the road this year. Possible locations include New York City, Washington, DC, and Denver.

FedEx field-tested two OptiFleet E700 trucks earlier this year to demonstrate the commercial viability of a lower-emission powertrain in a heavy-duty vehicle, in conjunction with the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality District. Environmental Defense also participated in the project.

www.environmentaldefense.org and www.fedex.com