FedEx Orders 1,000 Electric Delivery Vans From Startup Chanje

The vans will be built in China but will operate in California.

Chanje

FedEx's logo may be orange and purple, but the company's delivery fleet is getting a little greener thanks to the red country. The logistics giant is ordering 1,000 electric delivery vans from Chanje (pronounced "change"), a California-based startup with ties to China's FDG Electric Vehicles Limited.

In a statement, FedEx said the vans will be used for "commercial and residential pickup and delivery services" in California. FedEx will directly purchase 100 of the vans, and lease the other 900 from Ryder System Inc. In addition to acting as a middleman on lease deals and providing maintenance for leased vehicles, Ryder has order Chanje vans for its own rental fleet.

The vans ordered by FedEx are V8100 models with a claimed 150-mile range and 6,000-pound cargo capacity. FedEx expects to save two thousand gallons of fuel and eliminate 20 tons of carbon emissions per vehicle each year by going electric.

While Chanje has discussed plans for a United States assembly plant, all vans are currently built at FDG's factory in Hangzhou, China. The association with FDG has allowed Chanje to get up and running faster than some other electric-vehicle startups. The peculiar spelling of Chanje's name is a nod to FDG's Chinese-market Changjiang brand.

They may not get as much attention as electric cars, but commercial vehicles are an important piece of the emissions-reduction puzzle. Delivery vehicles cover significant annual mileage, and the fact that they typically don't stray far from a home base makes them perfect candidates for electrification. Companies ranging from small firms like Chanje and Workhorse to more established players like Daimler, which has promised an electric version of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, are rushing to fill this niche.

FedEx said it has been using electric vehicles since 2009. The company has also placed orders for Tesla Semi electric trucks, and is partnering with Plug Power and Workhorse on a hydrogen fuel-cell delivery vehicle.

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