Natural Gas – Conversions, Vehicles and Technology

UPS Completes Deployment of 300 New ‘Green’ Trucks

April 2009, Green Fleet Magazine - Feature

by Staff

In February, UPS deployed 300 new delivery trucks to its delivery service fleet. Powered by compressed natural gas (CNG), the vehicles were rolled out in seven cities in Colorado, Georgia, Oklahoma, and California.

The new alternative-fuel vehicles, which join more than 800 CNG vehicles already in use by UPS worldwide, are part of an order placed last May. The new models allow UPS to further reduce its dependence on traditional fossil fuels, such as gasoline and diesel, and lower its carbon footprint. UPS already operates the largest private fleet of alternative-fuel vehicles in its industry - 1,819 in total with these additions.

Deployed from East to West Coasts

The new CNG trucks have been deployed over the past month to Denver (43 vehicles); Atlanta (46); Oklahoma City (100); and four California cities: Sacramento (21), San Ramon (63), Los Angeles (9), and Ontario (18). All are currently in service.

"Deploying alternative-fuel vehicles dates back to the early days of UPS, and this CNG deployment is one more step toward the greening of our fleet," said Robert Hall, UPS director of vehicle engineering. "Continuing to add CNG delivery trucks to our fleet is a sustainable choice because natural gas is a cost-effective, clean-burning, and readily available fuel."

CNG to reduce Emissions 20 Percent

UPS began deploying trucks powered by CNG in the 1980s, when it purchased traditional gas- or diesel-driven vehicles and converted them to run on compressed gas. The 300 trucks deployed in February were built as CNG vehicles.

The CNG truck bodies are externally identical to the signature-brown trucks that comprise the UPS fleet. Marked with decals as CNG vehicles, the trucks are expected to yield a 20-percent emissions reduction over the cleanest diesel engines available in the market today.

For its alternative-fuel fleet, UPS has deployed CNG, liquefied natural gas, propane, electric, and hybrid-electric vehicles in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Germany, France, Brazil, Chile, Korea, and the United Kingdom. In addition, the company recently announced the purchase of seven hydraulic-hybrid delivery vehicles, a first in the industry, and has conducted research with hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.

"Deploying eco-friendly delivery vehicles is one of the many ways UPS demonstrates its commitment to sustainable business practices," Hall said. "The company plans to continue to expand its 'green fleet' and focus deployments in areas with air quality challenges."  

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