The vehicles, to be deployed this year in the western United States, will replace older generation diesel vehicles. These LNGs are expected to produce 25 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to the older trucks and use 95 percent less diesel fuel than the vehicles they replace.
"This is an important step not only from an environmental standpoint but from the viewpoint of U.S. energy security," said Mike Britt, UPS's director of vehicle engineering. "Liquefied natural gas is a cheaper, cleaner-burning fuel that is better for the environment and more sustainable than conventional diesel. And it's also a fuel that's in abundant supply inside the United States; it doesn't have to be imported."
Manufactured by Kenworth, the LNG tractors are powered by Westport HD Systems and initially will pull trailers on a transit lane linking Ontario, Calif., and Las Vegas, Nev., along with UPS's 11 existing LNG tractors. UPS is the only private delivery company using this technology in its fleet and now has more than 1,100 natural gas-powered vehicles in service.
UPS currently bases its 11 LNG tractors in Ontario, from which they can make the round trip to Las Vegas on one tank of fuel. UPS is working closely with the DOE's Clean Cities program to construct a LNG fueling station in Las Vegas. Once that facility is completed in 2011, UPS will base the 48 new tractors in Las Vegas and dramatically expand the number of long-haul routes in the West on which they're used.
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