FedEx Express has announced the completion of an electric delivery vehicle trial in Johannesburg. The trial consisted of testing electric vehicle technology within operations, assessing the effectiveness to run a delivery vehicle on a standard route, fully loaded with customer packages on a typical workday.
Following the positive trial results, FedEx Express is now finalising plans to introduce permanent electric vehicles to its vehicle fleet in South Africa.
"We’re encouraged by the results we’ve seen from the initial vehicle test," said Natasha Parmanand, managing director, operations at FedEx Express in Southern Africa. "We’re excited that FedEx in South Africa is helping to deliver the future. Not only did the vehicle perform well when travelling to and from customer sites, but it handled our local streets and conditions."
Reaching carbon-neutral goals
FedEx employee Lefa Halahala was the first team member to test the electric vehicle on his delivery route. "The car was great to drive. It has a lot of space, and I drove the whole day on one battery charge. I’m happy to be a part of South Africa’s sustainable future, and proud that FedEx has committed to making sure this technology works for our customers, our drivers, and our conditions."
"The South African trial aligns with our announcement earlier this year, setting a goal to achieve global carbon-neutral operations by 2040, and a piece of that puzzle is creating an all-electric fleet of pickup and delivery vehicles," continued Parmanand.
Vehicle electrification is one of the key steps toward reaching the carbon-neutral goal, and by 2040, the entire FedEx global parcel pickup and delivery (PUD) fleet will be zero-emission electric vehicles. This goal will be achieved through phased programs to replace existing vehicles. By 2025 the aim is for 50% of FedEx Express global PUD vehicle purchases to be electric vehicles, rising to 100% by 2030.
Boosting operational efficiencies
By making the move to all-electric delivery vehicles, FedEx – and the logistics and transportation sector as a whole – can help advance emissions reduction goals.
It also echoes a global trend to switch to electric vehicles. According to the International Energy Agency Global EV Outlook 20212 electric cars topped the 10-million-mark last year – an increase of 43% over 2019. This comes after announcements by major motor manufacturers to begin producing electric-only vehicles within the next 10 to 15 years.
The shift to electric vehicles is also in line with the strengthening of operations in South Africa, where FedEx introduced a new state-of-the-art facility in Johannesburg, near the OR Tambo International Airport. The new southern Africa hub, which consolidates three facilities into a single location, boosts operational efficiencies to meet growing customer demand across the region.