Electric Vehicles to Help Reduce Air Pollution in Hong Kong

The 10 electric vehicles have been deployed to FedEx stations across Hong Kong. They allow the FedEx couriers to make a full eight-hour shift of deliveries before needing to recharge the vehicle.

FedEx Express, the world's largest transportation company, has introduced ten all-new zero-emissions electric vehicles to its Hong Kong fleet.  The vehicles are the company's first fleet of zero-emissions electric delivery trucks in Asia Pacific, joining the more than 650 alternative-energy delivery vehicles already in the FedEx global vehicle fleet.

Hong Kong suffers from some of the worst urban pollution in the world. Smog settles heavily on this coastal city of seven million, choking its citizens and obscuring its iconic Victoria Harbor from view.

The Hong Kong government has instituted some measures to reduce emissions. In January of last year, the government updated its woefully inadequate air quality objectives to encourage pollution reductions. Established in 1987, the air quality objectives did not reflect any objective assessment of how much pollution can be harmful to human health.

"When you set your own standard, and then say you passed by one or two percent, then you are deceiving yourself," said Professor Wong Tze-wai, of the Department of Community and Family Medicine at the Chinese University, in a 2005 interview with the Standard. "It's meaningless."

In 2011, Hong Kong instituted a comprehensive program to reduce street-level pollution, which has lowered roadside levels of smog and nitrogen oxides by up to one-third compared with 1999. Hong Kong is also working with neighboring Guangdong province to reduce regional emissions.

While governmental measures have begun to mitigate the problem - Hong Kong's carbon emissions per unit of economic output has actually been on the decline since 1999 - voluntary actions from the private sector can prove effective as well.

Since 2010, FedEx has operated two hybrid vehicles in Hong Kong, and the introduction of the new zero-emission all-electric vehicles will further decrease the company's environmental impact in the city.

"This is a milestone for FedEx in Asia Pacific. The deployment of the new zero emission all-electric vehicles demonstrates FedEx commitment to delivering industry-leading innovation, while reducing our environmental impact," said David L. Cunningham Jr., president of FedEx Asia Pacific.

FedEx has set a goal of improving the global fuel efficiency of its vehicle fleet by 30 percent by 2020.

"These electric trucks are not only aimed at improving FedEx fleet efficiency in Asia Pacific, but also promoting the development of all-electric trucks among all vehicle users for a more sustainable future," added Cunningham.

FedEx has launched other corporate responsibility initiatives in Hong Kong. Its "FedEx We Deliver Green! Classroom" program, a partnership between the company and the Jane Goodall Institute, has helped educate 200 students from several schools about the origins of food, global trade, and the impact of modernization on the environment.

"The FedEx collaboration with the Jane Goodall Institute is an effective platform for us to enlighten the next generation to become successful, responsible individuals in their communities," said Anthony Leung, managing director, FedEx Express Hong Kong and Macau.

FedEx also recently sponsored the Junior Achievement 2012 International Trade Challenge, an educational competition that includes students from Hong Kong and other parts of the Asia Pacific region.