To reduce fuel consumption and lower carbon dioxide emissions, Staples is advancing its commercial delivery fleet by introducing new all-electric, class six trucks in California, Missouri and Ohio starting in November. The new addition to Staples' delivery fleet will consist of 41 trucks with 30 operating in California, 10 in Ohio and one in Missouri.

The all-electric trucks, manufactured by Smith Electric Vehicles, will join Staples' existing delivery fleet of nearly 2,000 vehicles in North America.

"The addition of these all-electric delivery trucks is the latest example of our commitment to continually improve our delivery fleet and its impact on the environment," said Mike Payette, manager of fleet equipment at Staples. "Over time, we'll look to increase the number of these trucks in the Staples fleet as an effective way to service our delivery customers while reducing our carbon emissions."

Staples' new all-electric delivery trucks are part of an ongoing fuel efficiency initiative, started in 2006, to achieve a 40 percent improvement in fleet fuel economy by 2015. Having achieved a 30 percent improvement in fuel efficiency to-date, Staples is now working toward the goal of improving fuel economy by 10 percent with additional reductions in its carbon footprint.

Over the next five years, Staples plans to accomplish the 10 percent goal through a combination of measures including the use of all-electric trucks in high-density urban delivery areas, diesel/electric hybrids for urban delivery areas, lighter composite materials in body construction, dynamic routing software and fuel cell technology as it becomes available. Staples will also work closely with all its vehicle OEM's to continue to improve the fuel economy of its remaining conventionally-powered trucks.

The initial phase of Staples' fuel efficiency initiative was conducted from 2006 through early 2010, resulting in mpg improvements of 30 percent from an industry standard 8.1 mpg to 10.1 mpg and a reduction of about 9,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

Smith Electric produces the Newton, which is the only all-electric medium/heavy-truck offering on the GSA schedule. The truck delivers a top speed of 55 mph and offers end users battery ranges from 50 to 120 miles on a single charge. It operates at peak effectiveness in urban applications that demand heavy stop and go driving. A single overnight charge provides more than enough range for most urban delivery routes.

"Smith Electric Vehicles is honored to help Staples reach its goal of improved fuel economy," said Bryan Hansel, CEO of Smith Electric Vehicles. "As a pioneer in adopting electric truck technology, Staples will show the rest of the delivery-fleet industry that helping the environment also helps your bottom line."