"...Mr. Pickens has his opponents, including FedEx CEO Fred Smith, who favors electrification of the transporation fleet. Mr. Smith argues that hybrids are the way to go, and is putting his money where his mouth is. With 80,000 motorized vehicles, FedEx now boasts the largest fleet of commercial hybrid trucks in North America.
Without naming Mr. Pickens, the company’s director of sustainability, Mitch Jackson, upped the ante on Sunday with a blog item blasting natural gas as transport fuel of the future. After citing a list of reasons against using natural gas instead of diesel, Mr. Jackson concludes that 'substituting one fossil fuel for another may mean we’re shifting our energy supply, but it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going anywhere.'
Mr. Pickens then let rip with a rebuttal that accuses Mr. Jackson of making a 'flawed argument' by misunderstanding the country’s natural-gas reserves and overstating the value of diesel hybrids.
'Not only does Jackson need to do more homework on the domestic availability and clean air benefits of natural gas,' Mr. Pickens writes in his Daily Pickens blog, 'he needs to realize that deploying vehicles that use slightly less foreign oil - vehicles that have little testing or are not available in the marketplace – will not solve America’s energy crisis.'"
It will be interesting to see how this effects future purchases by companies utilizing large fleets of trucks.
It seems Fed Ex's argument is slightly flawed...the fact is, they are still using foriegn oil, just further delaying the inevitable. I can see how these hybrids could serve as a "bridge" as a transition occurs over the next x number of years. Mitch Jackson, Fed Ex's Guy, states that refitting fueling stations would be too burdensome but that we should instead "electrify a substantial portion of surface transportation using hybrid electrics, electric and plug-in electric vehicles." How is the latter not more difficult to achieve?
Fed Ex's Argument
Of course, ultimately, both of these have yet to be proven.