Plug Power to design hydrogen fuel cells for FedExJanuary 10, 2014
Fuel cell range extenders to be used by FedEx
Plug Power, a leading developer of hydrogen fuel cells, has announced that it will design fuel cell range extenders for FedEx. The postal organization is set to use these fuel cells for 20 electric delivery trucks. Electric vehicles have been growing more common in the postal sector in recent years as organizations continue to look for ways to cut down on emissions and fuel costs. A similar project involving fuel cell range extenders is currently underway in France as well.
DOE throws support behind new project
The project is being funded by the Department of Energy. The federal agency has been investing more heavily in fuel cells in recent years, especially when it comes to using these energy systems in transportation. Hydrogen fuel had initially been considered little more than science fiction by the Department of Energy, but the agency has shifted its view on fuel cells and now backs numerous projects concerning their use.
Range extenders could make FedEx vehicles more viable
Electric delivery trucks being used by FedEx are limited to 80 miles per charge of their lithium-ion batteries. This makes their operational range quite small. By equipping these vehicles with fuel cell range extenders, FedEx believes that the range of these vehicles will be doubled. This will increase the efficiency of these vehicles and increase the amount of time they can operate before needing to be charged again.
Fuel cells continue to gain ground in transportation
Fuel cells are becoming quite common in transportation, but are mostly being used by the auto industry. Many automakers plan to launch consumer vehicles equipped with hydrogen fuel cells beginning in 2015. Government agencies are finding fuel cells useful for public transportation purposes as well and many have been investing in their use in this field. While fuel cells are expensive, they are often praised for their ability to lower fuel consumption costs and reduce the emissions that are associated with transportation in general.