UPS just announced it has ordered 200 hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) - the largest commercial order of such trucks by any company - in addition to another 300 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) 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.
Obviously, UPS has other reasons besides the environment to get more efficient. Particularly, we expect that rising fuel prices are cutting into their profits. Already they've been taking measures to decrease gasoline use through more quotidian measures, like favoring right turns over left turns in delivery routes.
Nonetheless, the focus on hybrid and LNG propulsion is definitely a good thing for the environment. The trucks are expected to save 176,000 gallons of fuel annually and reduce CO2 emissions by 1,786 metric tons each year. Delivery trucks are particularly useful for both of these applications because they spend so much time driving in cities. Hybrid technology is most useful when there are lots of stops and starts, while the ultra-low emissions of LNG does a great job of reducing pollution in areas where it generally collects.
The truck's chassis is being supplied by Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. while the hybrid drivetrain was created by Eaton. They'll look just like regular UPS trucks, but don't worry, you'll be able to tell the difference due to UPS's big blazing yellow labels on the side of each one.
written by Keith_Indy, May 15, 2008
written by Rashie, May 19, 2008
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