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Things are looking up for Azure Dynamics these days. After inking a deal to help Ford with the development and production of the Transit Connect BEV next year, the company has a new order for its hybrid delivery vans. FedEx has signed up to take on another 51 of the vans based on Ford's E450 cutaway chassis. Once the new vans are delivered by the end of this year, FedEx will have 325 hybrid and electric vans in its fleet and its Bronx, New York facility will be the first all-hybrid depot in the

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Fedex has been on the leading edge of testing and deploying various alternative fuel delivery trucks for several years and has now expanded its fleet of hybrid delivery vans by 50 percent. This time, instead of buying new hybrid vehicles, it has retrofitted 92 older vehicles with new powertrains. The newly-converted vehicles were originally built in 2000 and 2001 and have accumulated 300,000-500,000 miles. They also had diesel engines that pre-date the 2007 emissions regulations and didn't have

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FedEx has already managed to rack up over two million miles in its fleet of hybrid delivery vehicles, and will now be further padding that number thanks to ten additional diesel hybrid vans from Iveco for use in Europe. The vans officially began their duty in Milan and Turin, Italy on July 10th. While we are most interested in the CO2 emissions savings, FedEx will surely enjoy the corresponding 30-percent reduction in fuel use.

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I've been a long-time reader of Road&Track, and as long as I can remember, the April issue has always featured a special road test of a vehicle, outside the usual fare that they serve up. Past issues have included the likes of the Concorde, a Zamboni, the Goodyear blimp and a sedan chair. The April 2007 issue is no exception, featuring a comparison test of the some members of the DHL, UPS and FedEx delivery fleets.

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