ATLANTA - UPS has further expanded its fleet of alternative-fuel vehicles with the deployment of 200 next-generation hybrid electric delivery trucks in eight U.S. cities - expected to yield a 35-percent fuel savings, the company announced April 6.

The 200 new hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) join roughly 20,000 low-emission and alternative-fuel vehicles already in use and have been deployed in Austin, Houston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Long Island, Minneapolis, and Louisville. Before this latest deployment, UPS was operating 50 hybrid electrics in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and Phoenix.

Comprised of multiple technologies, including compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, propane, electricity, and hydraulic hybrid technology, the alt-fuel fleet has traveled more than 165 million miles since 2000.

The 200 new HEV delivery trucks are expected to reduce fuel consumption by roughly 176,000 gallons over the course of a year compared to an equivalent number of traditional diesel trucks. The hybrids also should reduce by 1,786 metric tons the amount of CO2 gases released annually into the atmosphere.

The HEV fleet features two different size vehicles from Workhorse Custom Chassis and Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation and a hybrid power system from Eaton Corporation. The external truck bodies are identical to UPS' other signature brown trucks, but with additional labeling to identify them as hybrid electrics. The trucks use lithium ion batteries, which offer a faster re-charging capability and last longer than previous generation HEV batteries. Additionally, these vehicles are much quieter than conventional UPS trucks and feature keyless entry.

"The wide variety of technologies in our green fleet is indicative of UPS' 'rolling laboratory' philosophy to energy efficiency and reduced fuel consumption," Stoffel said. Recognizing no one "silver bullet" technology exists, UPS "will rely on a multi-modal approach."


Originally posted on Automotive Fleet