UPS expands fleet with 306 alternative fuel vehicles

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UPS has asserted its commitment to environmentalism by ordering 167 compressed natural gas (CNG) delivery trucks and 139 new propane delivery trucks. These additions make the delivery service company the largest private alternative fuel fleet owner, with a total fleet of 1,629 vehicles.

The CNG trucks, which maintain the company's signature brown branding, are expected to yield a 20 percent engine emissions reduction and 10 percent improvement in fuel economy over diesel engines. They will be deployed next year in Dallas, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Ontario, CA, San Ramon, CA, and Fresno, CA.

The propane vehicles emit about one-third fewer reactive organic gases than gasoline-fueled vehicles. Additionally, nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide emissions are 20% and 60% less, respectively, than conventional vehicles.

The company has also launched an initiative to use biodiesel fuel in its ground support vehicles at the UPS Worldport air hub in Louisville, KY, with the support of a $515,000 federal grant that will help offset part of the cost of building a fuel infrastructure at the airport. Biodiesel is a clean-burning diesel replacement fuel that can be used in compression-ignition engines. It is manufactured from produced oils such as soybean oil, recycled cooking oils or animal fats.

Other alternative fuel vehicles used by UPS include liquefied natural gas, electric and hybrid electric vehicles. UPS used its first alternative fuel vehicle more than 70 years ago when it operated a fleet of electric trucks in New York City.

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