UPS to expand alternative fuel fleet by nearly 30%

UPS to expand alternative fuel fleet by nearly 30%

UPS is set to increase its fleet of alternative technology vehicles by nearly 30% through a single large investment in compressed natural gas (CNG) systems, it said last week. The Atlanta-based package delivery giant said it plans to build 15 more compressed natural gas (CNG) refuelling stations in the United States, as it bolsters its fleet with 1,400 new CNG vehicles during the next year.

The company said last week it intends to establish 12 of the new filling stations in areas where it had no CNG infrastructure before.

The three other new CNG fuel stations will replace existing facilities with “more robust”, higher capacity equipment, the Atlanta-based delivery giant said.

The new CNG vehicles will come as a significant increase to the UPS “advanced technology” fleet, which currently numbers 5,088 vehicles worldwide.

UPS said the move was part of its efforts to diversify fuel sources and lower its tailpipe emissions, while boosting its experience in using alternative fuels within freight transport activities. It could also help with fuel security, given the availability of natural gas produced within the US itself.

“Important building block”

UPS believes using CNG fuel could cut vehicle emissions by 6-11%

Mitch Nichols, UPS senior vice president of transportation and engineering, said: “Today’s CNG announcement demonstrates UPS’s plans to expand use of widely available natural gas. CNG is an important building block in our long-term fleet strategy and offers environmental and economic advantages.”

UPS already has eight CNG fuel stations in California, Colorado, Georgia and Oklahoma, as well as operating CNG vehicles in Germany, the Netherlands, and Thailand. The new CNG vehicles will be deployed in 15 US cities, including Atlanta, Dallas, Denver and New Orleans, as well as other cities within Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

Nichols said UPS has already reduced its use of conventional fuel by 34m gallons since the year 2000 through its investments in alternative fuel technology.

The new CNG investment is expected to displace use of 54m gallons of conventional diesel and gasoline a year.

UPS said that US government figures suggest that using natural gas in place of gasoline cuts climate change emissions by 6-11% over the fuel life cycle.

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