UPS Plans New Hybrid Electric Delivery Trucks

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – UPS (NYSE:UPS) has announced plans to add 200 new hybrid electric delivery trucks to its growing alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet. The trucks, manufactured by Workhorse Group, Inc., will be deployed in January 2017, starting in Arizona, Texas, Nevada, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida, and possibly in other states as well. UPS operates one of the largest alternative fuel and advanced technology fleets in America. In addition to its Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs), the company also has all-electric, hydraulic hybrid, compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, propane and lightweight fuel-saving composite body vehicles. UPS is very committed to reducing its carbon footprint and uses millions of gallons of lower renewable diesel and renewable natural gas in its fleet each year.

Overall, electric vehicles (EV) have moved from the fringes of the automotive industry to become key projects for some of the biggest manufacturers. The technology and infrastructure surrounding electric cars has improved year on year, with EVs now boasting longer ranges along with more charging stations appearing on UK and US roads. The European Union (EU) plans to boost the convenience of these cars on the continent by increasing recharging facilities. Plus, every new or refurbished house in Europe will need to be equipped with an electric vehicle recharging point under a draft EU directive expected to come into effect by 2019.

UPS is dedicated to developing alternative fuel vehicles that lessen its impact on the environment and reliance on petroleum based fuels – these efforts do help to transform markets and communities. Using its “Rolling Laboratory” approach, UPS deploys more than 7,200 low-emission vehicles and achieved its goal of driving 1 billion miles with the alternative fuel fleet in August 2016.

In order to grow their competitive advantage and increase returns to shareholders, UPS is looking at trimming down operating costs. The direct impact of propane fueled vehicles will be a reduction in fuel expenses, which accounted for around eight percent of the company’s operating costs in 2013. UPS believes that these vehicles will reduce gasoline and diesel consumption by 3.5 million gallons per year. Apart from the decrease in fuel expense, vehicle maintenance costs are also expected to decline given that propane vehicles require low maintenance costs compared to traditionally fueled vehicles.

Generally, it is thought that hybrid and plug-in EVs can help increase energy security, improve fuel economy, lower fuel costs and reduce emissions. For example, in 2014, the US imported about 27 percent of the petroleum it consumed and transportation was responsible for nearly three-quarters of its total petroleum consumption. With much of the world's petroleum reserves located in politically volatile countries, America, along with the rest of the world, is vulnerable to price spikes and supply disruptions. These types of vehicles instead of conventional ones can help reduce our reliance on imported petroleum and increase energy security. HEVs use less fuel than similar conventional vehicles because they employ electric-drive technologies to boost efficiency.

Photo Credit: UPS

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