Frederick W. Smith, FedEx Corporation, Addresses National Clean Energy Summit about National Energy Security

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reikiman's picture
Joined: 11/19/2006
Points: 8444

I was given a link to this video from someone at FedEx while I was researching an article for Charged EV's Magazine about electric vehicles in commercial truck fleets. The article went over a set of presentations from FedEx, PG & E and Dow Kokam concerning electric trucks in commercial fleets.

Basically speaking the commercial fleet operators are better able to gain value from the savings that come from electric vehicles being cheaper to operate. The FedEx portion of the presentation had info showing that while there is a price premium paid for an electric truck, the operational cost savings can pay for that premium if the price of gasoline is high enough. At current costs they're saying it requires $9-10/gallon diesel for operational cost savings to pay for the truck, but foresee a drop in prices over the coming years so that electric trucks will directly pay for themselves solely from operational cost savings. The article is in the current issue of Charged EV's magazine.

In any case, the FedEx presentation also contained a section giving an interesting line of reasoning about why FedEx is so set on electric delivery trucks that they've experimented with them for 20 years.

The reasons they gave were focused on National Energy Security, but touched on issues that I call "Peak Oil" without directly referring to that phenomenon. I managed to contact a policy analyst at FedEx who sent me a link to this video that goes over the same material.

This is Fred Smith, the CEO/Chairman/whatever of FedEx, talking about some history of oil conflicts and the national security implications of being wholly dependent on foreign oil sources.

FedEx CEO Fred Smith discusses foreign oil dependence significant threat to national and economic security at the National Clean Energy Summit, stating, "The United States oil dependence on imported petroleum -- after weapons of mass destruction and terrorism -- is our greatest single national risk." After emphasizing the economic, military, geopolitical and industry issues, he shares policy recommendations.


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Joined: 07/09/2011
Points: 886
Re: Frederick W. Smith, FedEx Corporation, Addresses ...

I think we'll be seeing diesel hybrid delivery trucks soon. They've already managed to make hybrid semi tractors that can creep in traffic with the engine off, and I think the delivery trucks will focus on being able to drive at low speeds for moderate distance in EV mode, then switch to the ICE for higher speeds and longer distances. Delivery trucks will be able to do the deliveries for, say a subdivision, in EV mode, run in ICE & charge mode on the highway to the next one, then repeat. They should be able to do that with large format NiMH packs, when those can be produced again, because they'll be able to keep the SOC in the 'sweet zone' for NiMH.

Joined: 11/22/2006
Points: 1411
Re: Frederick W. Smith, FedEx Corporation, Addresses ...

I guess it is not surprising that AGW was not mentioned. The big corporations are confidant that any "socialistic threat" of aggressive government policies to address AGW, which would change his economic calculation considerably in favor of EV's, are no longer a threat. Indeed, the "business community" considers AGW to be a danger that is now receding in their rear-view mirror.

The divergence of capitalist economics and physical planetary reality continues to amaze me.

safe's picture
Joined: 08/03/2010
Points: 806
Re: Frederick W. Smith, FedEx Corporation, Addresses ...

Actually I agree with the idea that dependence on natural resources from outside the country is a bad idea.

However, the argument of "Mankind Creating Climate Disruption" is flawed. (in my opinion)

The climate has been "cycling" from Ice Age to Melting Ice Caps for millions of years. We are at the natural end of the present cycle. So from a "scientific" standpoint we know this is "normal" because it has repeated so many times.

The larger stumbling block for the "blame mankind" crowd now is that China pumps out something like FIVE times more CO2 than anyone else.

America could emit ZERO emissions and it would make no difference.

The question is:

"What are the CO2 fighters going to do about China?"

...the funny thing is that the "science" suggests CO2 is only one mechanism in the Climate Cycle and it's the oceans that are the more dominant feature. All the attention to CO2 is actually focusing on the wrong math.

So the whole concept has gotten muddy with shallow physical understanding combined with misdirected blame.


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