There were 45,000 hybrid vehicles registered in the US last year, Florida ranked third in the nation. Now, the federal Express company has bought 4 hybrid trucks and put them on the road in Florida. Today they held a press conference to show off the new trucks, which run on a combination of diesel fuel and electric power.

ACT ‘the primary cause of air pollution is fuel and diesel from our roadways…through these 4 hybrid diesel and electric trucks from hybrid and diesel.�

Colleen Castile the secretary of the state depeartment of environmental protection, made an appearance at the Federal express lot on west Waters Street. She was joined by Elizabeth Cerkin from Environmental defense, an organization which works with government agencies and private companies to try and help them make environmentally friendly business decisions.

ACT “these trucks achieve two critical goals, reduce smog and lower fuel and operating costs, more than half American families live in places—asthma lung disease and cancer, asthma has become the nation..smog pollution has been linked to ..and Tampa had more unhealthy air days. These trucks which reduce soot emissions by and as for fuel efficiency, last week oil topped 50 bucks, that an over 35 percent, when fuel prices rise, fed ex cant do it.�

The trucks go more than 50 miles further on a gallon of fuel than regular gasoline. John Formacano—the fed ex vice president of global vehicles said with the high price of gasoline, the move to buy hybrid vehicles makes business sense.

ACT “the fed ex hybrid electric will decrease, reduce, and increase by 57 percent, this vehicle is revolutionary..were urging local state and federal government to implement incentives.�

WMNF spoke to Elizabeth Cerkin from environmental defense about the difficulty of working with companies to change their environmentally damaging ways..

ACT “we worked with fed ex and other corps and they have the power that can make change…some would say if you are thinking long term cause you wont pay all the fines, do feel like the resistance is lessening? Doesn’t it get frustrating. I fee like were making some real progress whereas others aren’t, when we can find those kind of projects, its makes sense, especially hybrids in particular, diesel fuel is at a record high, everyone should look into this

WMNF asked Kevin Beaty business unit manager of hybrid electric power trains at eaton corporation about the future of the hybrid industry

ACT “hybrid gives you on board power, not important for fed ex but for others, its like taking a little generator…were seeing an unexpectedly high level of interest, and there’s enough…this technology is always gonna cost more but as a manufacturer in 3 or 4 years we can be in profit..beyond that there be no need for public support….do you think the us government has made enough of a commitment? We could switch over all our cars in 10 year..the us government did support a pretty aggressive program in the 90, unfortunately, Toyota, it left a bad taste in their mouth, and an off shore competitor, and so now you see the dominant position occupied by Toyota, how did that happen, there was a delay to go into production, and surely Toyota, with federal support and we would like to see more from the federal government, essentially the benefit of one fed ex truck…�

Federal express also has some hybrid trucks in California and New York. WMNF asked Sid Gouch, the managing director for global vehicle support within federal express about the companies commitment to changing over their entire fleet and

ACT “to get the prices so they are cost justified, we have to get them on the road, to prove it works we have to work with other fleets, we are trying to encourage them to do it….if diesel keeps goin up!! whats the cost for one vehicle...we cant give out our cost data, what were shooting for is a 12 percent up change for a hybrid system…one of the things were looking for is funding is government at the federal level. I was just hearing about how the Japanese got a jump, yeah the Japanese and if you look at them Toyota and Honda, and in effect some of the us manufactures, someone has to make the step forward to get the funding, were looking at some of the .�

For more information of hybrid vehicles, log on to http://www.fueleconomy.gov/

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