UPS has ordered 200 hybrid electric vehicles, in addition to another 300 compressed natural gas vehicles for its U.S. delivery fleet.
UPS electric hybrid delivery van
UPS electric hybrid delivery van
The purchase of the 500 additional vehicles means the UPS alternative fuel fleet will grow to 2,218 low-carbon vehicles.

UPS's "green fleet" operates in the United States, Germany, France, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom and has traveled nearly 144 million miles since 2000. The fleet includes electric, hybrid electric, CNG, liquefied natural gas and propane-powered vehicles. The company also is continuing work with the Environmental Protection Agency on a hydraulic hybrid delivery vehicle.

The 200 hybrid electric vehicles will be deployed in 2009. The trucks are expected to save 176,000 gallons of fuel annually and reduce CO2 emissions by 1,786 metric tons each year. The HEV's hybrid power system allows UPS to save on fuel and pollution-causing emissions. Battery pack, motor/generator and power control systems are added, which allow electric power to be fed into the powertrain when conditions demand it, providing further savings.

The HEVs also use regenerative braking, meaning the energy produced in stopping the moving vehicle is returned to the battery system as electrical energy. The computer-controlled combination of clean diesel power, electric power and regenerative braking produces improvements in fuel savings and emissions reductions.

The 300 CNG vehicles will be deployed later this year. CNG vehicles run on natural gas, a cost-effective, clean-burning and readily available fuel. These vehicles are expected to yield a 20 percent reduction in emissions.

The chassis for the CNG and HEV trucks are being purchased from Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp., with Eaton supplying the hybrid power system for the HEVs. The truck bodies are identical externally to the signature-brown trucks that now comprise the UPS fleet with additional script markings that will identify them as CNG and HEV vehicles.

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