USPS, parcel carriers turn to alternative fuel vehicles

Share this content:

Reflecting rising gas prices and environmental concerns, the US Postal Service and some package delivery companies are testing alternative fuel vehicles.

Last week, the USPS announced that it will test a fourth-generation, hydrogen-powered Chevrolet Equinox fuel cell SUV on delivery routes in Irvine, CA. The US Department of Energy is paying the $240,000 lease for the vehicle, while the USPS will cover the cost of refueling, operations and maintenance.

The USPS already uses more than 43,000 alternative fuel vehicles, most of which are E-85 ethanol vehicles, according to Walter O'Tormey, VP of engineering for the USPS. He said that rising fuel costs will cost the USPS $600 million more for fuel this year than last. “With our current delivery vehicles, when you look at an average route, you're getting maybe 12 miles per gallon,” while the agency is “look­ing to get 40 to 50 miles per gallon” with the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, he said.

The USPS is not the only mail delivery company exploring alternative fuel vehicles. UPS uses more than 1,500 of them, including electric, hybrid electric, propane, compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas vehicles.

In 2007, UPS deployed 50 hybrid elec­tric vehicles (HEV) and just ordered an additional 200 to be deployed in 2009, according to Elizabeth Rasberry, a UPS spokesperson. “We have also tested hybrid hydraulic and fuel cell vehicles,” she added.

FedEx operates a 170-vehicle fleet of commercial hybrid trucks in North America. Its hybrid project began in 2000 through a partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund, according to a FedEx spokesperson.

DHL is also testing some prototype hybrid vehicles, said Richard Gibbs, PR and public affairs manager for the shipping company.

close

Next Article in Direct Mail

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Since 1985, Melissa has helped thousands of companies clean, correct and complete contact data to better target and communicate with their customers. We offer a full spectrum of data quality solutions, including global address, phone, email, and name validation, identify verification - available for batch or real-time processes, in the Cloud or on-premise. Our service bureau provides dedupe, email/phone append and geographic/demographic append services for better targeting and insight. For direct mailers, Melissa offers easy-to-use address management/postal software, list hygiene services and 100s of specialty mailing lists - all with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above