Plug Power announced today 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 US Department of Energy, and 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. This makes electric-powered delivery vehicles a viable solution for a wide range of applications, including parcel delivery trucks, taxis, post office trucks and port vehicles.
"Early customer experiences with electric delivery vehicles have been overwhelmingly positive. But only 1 percent of these vehicles are electric today; we think that this range extender provides the added distance and quick refueling capabilities needed to really grow this market," Andy Marsh, Plug Power chief executive officer, said in a statement.