DHL Express to use 100 propane-powered vehicles in US

DHL Express is to use 100 new vehicles in the United States powered by propane autogas, which it says will cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25%. The company said it is buying 100 new Ford E-250 cargo vans for pickup and delivery, equipped with a liquid propane autogas fuel system from Michigan firm ROUSH CleanTech.

The new vehicles will be on the road by late August in California, Florida, Georgia, Missouri and Texas.

DHL said each vehicle would bring carbon emission savings compared to conventional equivalents of more than 22,587 pounds a year. Along with carbon dioxide emission cuts, the cleaner running engines produce up to 60% less carbon monoxide and 20% less nitrogen oxide pollutants, virtually eliminating particulate matter.

DHL Express will be using existing public infrastructure to refuel the vehicles, but will also be installing refueling systems at its service centre facilities.

Ian Clough, the DHL Express US chief executive, said customers in the US were increasingly demanding greener logistics.

“Initiatives like our all ‘green’ fleet in Manhattan and this propane autogas fleet not only lower our DHL carbon footprint, but are a smart, clean and cost-effective choice for our business,” said Clough.

Autogas

DHL said propane autogas already has the largest refueling infrastructure of any alternative transportation fuel options in the US, and that infrastructure is less expensive than that for other alternative fuels. The US has more than 270,000 autogas vehicles on the road – about 2% of the world’s total – and more than 2,600 autogas fueling station.

ROUSH CleanTech said propane gas-powered Ford vehicles offered the same performance characteristics and serviceability as gasoline-powered equivalents, without loss of power.

Joe Thompson, the president of ROUSH CleanTech, said: “DHL is internationally known for its green initiatives, and we’re thrilled to partner with them to deliver an alternative fuel solution that lowers operating costs and emissions without compromising vehicle performance.”

DHL now has more than 4,000 non-conventional vehicles in its global fleet, wither powered by alternative fuels or modified for better fuel efficiency, including 30 US electric trucks and 50 hybrid vans operating in Manhattan.

The company’s worldwide GoGreen initiative aims to improve DHL’s carbon efficiency by 30% by 2020, from 2007 levels.

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