WASHINGTON – Reflecting rising gas prices and environmental concerns, the U.S. Postal Service are testing new alternative-fuel vehicles, according to the Web site, www.dmnews.ocm.

The USPS will test a fourth-generation, hydrogen-powered Chevrolet Equinox fuel cell SUV on delivery routes in Irvine, Calif.

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. However, with rising fuel costs, USPS will spend $600 million more for fuel this year than last.