FedEx Freight has begun beta testing two new tractors powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG)-only engines. The pre-production engine used in the new tractors is slated for limited release in 2013 and is currently the only all natural gas engine that begins to meet the size and power needs of Class 8 trucks.
“FedEx Freight has a long-standing commitment to minimizing environmental impact, and natural gas—a cleaner burning fuel than diesel—has the potential to translate into lower greenhouse gas emissions,” stated John Smith, vice president, Safety, Fleet Maintenance and Facility Services for FedEx Freight. “We are proud to be the first fleet to receive these new tractors fitted with natural gas-only engines that are powerful enough to meet our long-haul needs.”
Domiciled at the FedEx Freight service center in Dallas, Texas, the tractors will be used as part of the carrier’s regular linehaul operations and are expected to log nearly 1,000 miles per day. The extensive use will enable the company to quickly and thoroughly test the new engine’s ability to meet the needs of day-to-day operations.
The LNG tractor beta test is part of a large-scale sustainability initiative by FedEx Freight to integrate responsible environmental practices into daily operations. Other efforts include:
- Experimenting with emission-free hydrogen fuel cell-powered and electric forklifts for dock operations.
- Equipping all new vehicles with SmartWay-approved tires that help improve fuel mileage.
- Fitting trailers with SmartWay-approved trailer skirts to improve aerodynamics and fuel consumption.
“The testing of LNG tractors by FedEx Freight is a natural extension of our corporate-wide efforts to provide sustainable solutions for our customers,” said Mitch Jackson, vice president of Environmental Affairs and Sustainability, FedEx Corp. “Across the FedEx enterprise, we continuously look for ways to maximize our efficiency while advancing our commitment to connect the world in responsible and resourceful ways.”