UPS says green fleet has traveled 200 million miles

Updated Mar 2, 2011

UPS on Monday, Feb. 28, announced its fleet of alternative fuel and technology delivery vehicles has driven 200 million miles since 2000. The alternative fuel fleet now numbers more than 1,900, and another 62 vehicles have just been ordered.

UPS operates AFVs in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Brazil, the UK and Hong Kong. “The 200 million mile benchmark proves a number of AFV technologies are viable over the long term in a variety of working environments, and so we’ll continue to expand the AFV fleet,” says Mike Britt, UPS director of vehicle engineering.

So far this year, UPS has announced the purchase of 48 new liquefied natural gas tractors for the United States to operate in northern California, including the construction of a publically accessible LNG fueling station. In addition, UPS has purchased 14 Modec electric vehicles for its operations in London.

To date, UPS has explored eight different alternative fuel technologies, starting with compressed natural gas and propane technologies in the late 1980s. Hybrid-electric vehicles were introduced to the fleet in 1998. UPS invested in all-electric vehicles in 2004 and then deployed the first LNG tractors to its fleet. UPS uses liquefied petroleum gas trucks in Korea and has experimented with hydraulic-hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell technologies.

According to Britt, the purchasing viability of AFV technology is based on economics, fuel infrastructure availability, reliability, product supply, carbon impact, fuel savings and operational considerations. “At UPS, we expand our alternative fuel fleet using a ‘rolling laboratory’ approach,” he says. “Our alternative fuel fleet teaches us how new technologies and advancements can be adapted for use in a large delivery fleet. UPS puts new technologies in settings where they are most effective and most efficient.”