Now running regular routes, FedEx has deployed an electric Workhorse EGEN delivery van with a 160-mile extended range thanks to its Plug Power ProGen hydrogen engine.

FedEx's first fuel cell-powered electric van rolling in NY

May 4, 2018
Hydrogen fuel cell maker Plug Power and electric commercial vehicle manufacturer Workhorse Group delivered FedEx Express its first fuel cell electric vehicle (F

Hydrogen fuel cell maker Plug Power and electric commercial vehicle manufacturer Workhorse Group delivered FedEx Express its first fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) delivery van for on-road use.

Workhorse built the Class 5 zero-emission EGENdelivery van, which is charged by Plug Power's ProGen hydrogen engine. The vehicle is now in service at the FedEx facility in Menands, NY just north of Albany and has been deployed on a standard FedEx delivery route. It's one of the first of its kind to operate in a standard commercial environment, the companies noted.

And the new FCEV has already proven itself: it's covered more than 3,000 on-road miles in initial tests and is expected to run more than 27,000 miles in the first six months on its routes. The vehicle refuels using a Plug Power hydrogen fuel station in Latham, NY — the first such station in New York's capital region and one of the first on the East Coast for on-road vehicles, according to the company. 

Workhorse claims its EGEN delivery trucks meet the needs and expectations of daily delivery duty cycles but deliver lower fuel and operational costs, resulting in "dramatically reduced" total cost of ownership over the vehicle's lifetime vs. standard internal combustion engine vehicles. The addition of Plug Power's ProGen fuel cell gives the truck a range of more than 160 miles per delivery cycle, a 166% increase over standard battery power alone.

"The Workhorse EGEN zero-emission delivery vehicle has reinvented package delivery," said Steve Burns, the company's CEO. "With the capability of charging en route via the onboard ProGen hydrogen engine, range anxiety is virtually eliminated.

The Workhorse-Plug Power FCEV delivery van has been fueling and operating through a range of weather, the two companies said, including rain, snow and cold temperatures. That's a critical point, since weather-related conditions and temperatures can greatly affect the performance of typical electric vehicles.

"FedEx is committed to investing in safer and more sustainable transportation solutions in its global network," said Mitch Jackson, chief sustainability officer at FedEx Corp. "As part of our 'Reduce, Replace, Revolutionize' vehicle strategy, this is one way we're working to revolutionize transportation while making our communities more livable." 

"This collaboration with Workhorse and FedEx is the beginning of a hydrogen transformation in the delivery van industry," contended Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh. In addition to the FedEx FCEV delivery van, Plug Power has deployed some 20,000 fuel cells.

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Informa Commercial Vehicle Staff