UPS to Deploy 50 Hybrid-Electric Delivery Trucks

UPS to Deploy 50 Hybrid-Electric Delivery Trucks

In addition to the company's nearly 20,000 low-emission and alternative fuel vehicles in its fleet already, UPS today announced the deployment of 50 next-generation hybrid electric delivery trucks.

"We're excited to be among the first to deploy the latest in HEV technology because it promises a 45 percent increase in fuel economy in addition to a dramatic decrease in vehicle emissions," said Robert Hall, Director of UPS Ground Fleet Engineering.

The 50 new hybrid-electric "clean diesel" cars are expected to reduce fuel consumption by roughly 44,000 gallons over the course of a year compared to an equivalent number of traditional diesel trucks. The hybrids also should reduce by 457 metric tons the amount of CO2 gases released annually into the atmosphere.

The new hybrid power system allows UPS to use a smaller, diesel engine than a conventional delivery truck would need, saving even more fuel and emissions. Similar to passenger hybrid vehicles, UPS's new trucks also use renegenerative braking to recharge the battery as the vehicles slow down.

The new vehicles are based on chassis from Workhorse Custom Chassis and Freightliner, and incorporate a hybrid power system developed by Eaton Corporation. The external truck bodies will be identical to the company's other signature brown trucks, although they will feature additional script on the side identifying them as hybrid electrics. The trucks will operate with lithium ion batteries, which offer a faster re-charging capability and last longer than batteries used in previous generations of HEVs.

UPS has agreed to work with the U.S. Energy Department over the course of 2007 to share the vehicles' fuel economy, emissions and other performance data.

The UPS alternative fuel fleet currently includes trucks powered by compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, propane and electricity. UPS also has been testing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and hydraulic hybrid technology in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency and others. Just since 2000, the alternative-fuel fleet has traveled more than 126 million miles.

UPS has invested more than $15 million in its alternative-vehicle fleet to day, starting with a research program launched in 1998 and the first hybrid electric truck in 2001. In that time, the company has added more than 19,000 low emission conventional vehicles to the fleet.

"Our long-term goal is to minimize dependence on fossil fuels and we will get there by deploying a wide variety of new automotive technologies in our fleet," Hall said.