UPS announced Tuesday, May 13, it has ordered 200 hybrid electric vehicles — the largest commercial order of such trucks by any company — in addition to another 300 compressed natural gas vehicles for its U.S. delivery fleet. The purchase of the 500 additional vehicles means the UPS alternative fuel fleet — already the largest such private fleet in the United States — will grow 30 percent from 1,718 to 2,218 low-carbon vehicles.
“Alternative fuel research and development is just one of the ways that UPS is mitigating climate change risks,” says Bob Stoffel, corporate sustainability officer for Atlanta-based UPS. “We also are focused on aggressive conservation programs and improving network efficiency to cut fuel use.”
The UPS “green fleet” operates in the United States, Germany, France, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom and has traveled nearly 144 million miles since 2000. The fleet includes electric, hybrid electric, CNG, liquefied natural gas and propane-powered vehicles. The company also is continuing work with the Environmental Protection Agency on a hydraulic hybrid delivery vehicle.
“UPS has been utilizing alternative fuel vehicles for more than 70 years and is clearly the industry leader in hybrid electric and CNG vehicle purchases,” says Robert Hall, director of the company’s ground fleet. “At UPS, it’s very important to us to demonstrate our commitment with action, which is why we have the largest private ‘green’ fleet in the industry. And both CNG and HEV vehicles provide substantial reductions in carbon emissions, which supports our commitment to reducing our impact on the environment.”
The 200 hybrid electric vehicles will be deployed in 2009 and join 50 HEV delivery trucks already in operation. UPS says the 200 trucks are expected to save 176,000 gallons of fuel annually and reduce CO2 emissions by 1,786 metric tons each year; that is the equivalent of removing almost 100 conventional trucks from the road for a year.
The 300 CNG vehicles will be deployed later this year and join more than 800 such vehicles already in use in the United States. CNG vehicles run on natural gas, a cost-effective clean-burning and readily available fuel; these vehicles are expected to yield a 20 percent reduction in emissions over the cleanest diesel engines available today.
The CNG/HEV vehicle order follows the April 2008 deployment of 167 new CNG vehicles in Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, Ontario, San Ramon, Fresno and Sacramento. In addition, UPS added 50 next-generation hybrid electric delivery trucks in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and Phoenix in May 2007.
The chassis for the CNG and HEV trucks are being purchased from Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp., with Eaton Corp. supplying the hybrid power system for the HEVs. The truck bodies are identical externally to the signature-brown trucks that now comprise the UPS fleet with additional script markings that will identify them as CNG and HEV vehicles.