Hybrid Electric Delivery Trucks Extend UPS Fleet Range, Improve Fuel Economy

by | May 3, 2016

UPS electric and ethanolUPS has updated 125 hybrid electric delivery trucks to extend their range and improve fuel economy.

The logistics and transportation company says the move is part of its “Rolling Laboratory approach,” which deploys new technologies and alternative fuel vehicles and monitors their performance in different delivery locations.

“Our real-world testing of this new technology revealed opportunities to improve its performance and efficiency, which led to the development of a more advanced propulsion system,” said Carlton Rose, UPS global fleet maintenance and engineering president in a statement.

Analysis by Lux Research published last week found that road transportation emissions can be cut by 29 percent by 2030 through a combination of low-carbon fuels, alternative-fuel vehicles and improved fuel efficiencies.

All of this will help reduce carbon pollution from transportation, which accounted for about 24 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide in 2015.

UPS’ “green fleet” is comprised of about 6,840 vehicles, or about 7 percent of its total feet, and includes a variety of alternative fuel vehicles types: all-electrics, electric hybrids, hydraulic hybrids, propane, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) and biomethane.

In the updated hybrid electric trucks, a compact, quiet-running 2-cylinder engine replaces a prior 4-cylinder engine to extend their range, improve performance and fuel efficiency — up to four times the fuel economy of a gasoline-powered vehicle. UPS says they will be deployed in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, Ohio and Texas later this year.

The trucks were purchased under UPS’s commitment to log 1 billion miles with alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles by the end of 2017.

In other efforts to cut emissions and improve its fleet’s efficiency, UPS will complete US implementation of its proprietary routing software ORION (On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation) by the end of this year.

At that point UPS expects ORION to result in an annual savings of 10 million gallons of fuel, a reduction of 100,000 metric tons in CO2 emissions, and an estimated $300 to $400 million in savings and cost avoidance.

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