Plug Power Inc. announced it will develop hydrogen fuel cell range extenders for 20 FedEx Express electric delivery trucks, allowing FedEx Express to nearly double the amount of territory the vehicles can cover with one charge.
This $3 million project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and includes project partners FedEx Express, Plug Power and Smith Electric Vehicles. The resulting hybrid vehicles will be powered by lithium-ion batteries and a 10-kilowatt Plug Power hydrogen fuel cell system. The fuel cell solution is based on Plug Power's GenDrive Series 1000 product architecture.
Currently, electric delivery trucks are limited to traveling about 80 miles per charge. By doubling the vehicle range, Plug Power's range extender makes battery-based electric vehicles feasible for nearly all delivery routes, according to the company.
Through trials and execution with FedEx Express, Plug Power will display how its range extender solution increases delivery fleet efficiency to over 50% coupled with an approximately 35 to 40% decrease in fuel expenses, when compared to diesel trucks.