FedEx begins trial of renewable diesel in UK linehaul network

FedEx renewable diesel cabover
FedEx Express Europe has begun trialling hydro-treated vegetable oil (HVO) renewable diesel to fuel five of its company-owned trucks in the United Kingdom.

FedEx Express Europe, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (CCJ Top 250, No. 1), has begun trialling hydro-treated vegetable oil (HVO) renewable diesel in five of its company-owned trucks in the United Kingdom.

In November last year, FedEx Express launched the use of renewable diesel to fuel heavyweight, long-distance vehicles in the Netherlands, as a more environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels. With the deployment of this new 100% HVO fuel, the UK becomes the next part of the FedEx network in the region to start trialling the use of renewable fuel.

FedEx Express Europe Managing Director Fleet Maintenance Louise Whitehouse said using synthetically-made diesel offers an interim solution with the promising ability to drive down "well-to wheel" carbon emissions by as much as 80-90% per liter. "It means that while other technological solutions are still being developed to help the industry transition away from using fossil fuels altogether, we can already make decisions to influence and reduce our scope one carbon emissions in our linehaul truck network โ€“ those generated by our owned vehicles,โ€ she said. 

The decarbonization of the heavyweight transport sector is more challenging than the parcel pick-up and delivery sector, where FedEx Express has already outlined its goal to transition to a fully electric fleet by 2040. Finding a viable energy alternative to fossil fuels is more difficult with bigger vehicles that also tend to travel longer distances, FedEx said. 

The FedEx goal announced in March 2021 to achieve carbon-neutral operations globally by 2040 includes all FedEx owned and operated transportation including parcel pick-up and delivery, its extensive European linehaul truck network and aircraft. It also includes the companyโ€™s scope three emissions that are generated by contracted transportation services that play a part in the FedEx network. By demonstrating support and adoption of diesel alternatives, FedEx is striving to make alternative fuels more viable, scalable, and ultimately accessible across the industry as solutions to help decarbonize hard-to-abate transportation modalities in Europe.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell & BEV Survey
The following survey was sent as a link in an email cover message in February 2023 to the newsletter lists for Overdrive and CCJ. After approximately two weeks, a total of 176 owner-operators under their own authority, 113 owner-operators leased or assigned to a carrier and 82 fleet executives and 36 fleet employees from fleets with 10 or more power units had completed and submitted the questionnaire for a total of 407 qualified responses. Cross-tabulations based on respondent type are provided for each question when applicable.
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