UPS Orders More Hybrids for Fleet

UPS on May 13 announced 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," said Bob Stoffel, UPS's corporate sustainability officer. "We also are focused on aggressive conservation programs and improving network efficiency to cut fuel use."

UPS's "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 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on a hydraulic hybrid delivery vehicle.

The 200 hybrid electric vehicles will be deployed in 2009 and join 50 such delivery trucks already in operation. The 200 trucks are expected to save 176,000 gallons of fuel annually and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1,786 metric tons each year. That is the equivalent of removing almost 100 conventional UPS trucks from the road for a year.

Hybrid electric vehicles work using a battery pack, motor/generator, and power control system that feeds power to the powertrain when conditions demand it. They also use regenerative braking, which captures and returns energy produced in stopping the vehicle to the battery system.

The 300 compressed natural gas vehicles will be deployed later this year and join more than 800 such vehicles already in use in the United States.These vehicles are expected to yield a 20 percent reduction in emissions over the cleanest diesel engines available today.

UPS is buying the truck chassis from Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. Eaton Corp. is supplying the hybrid power system.

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