UPS signs renewable natural gas supply deal for US vehicles

UPS signs renewable natural gas supply deal for US vehicles

UPS has agreed to buy renewable natural gas (RNG) for its US delivery vehicle fleet from Clean Energy Fuels Corp. According to a statement issued by the logistics company today (5 May), the deal “signifies UPS’s plan to significantly expand its use of renewable natural gas for its alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet”. The company added that has a goal of driving one billion miles using its alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet by the end of 2017.

Clean Energy Fuels, co-founded by T. Boone Pickens, is the exclusive producer of Redeem, the first RNG made available in commercial quantities.

UPS fueling stations in Sacramento, Fresno and Los Angeles will start using Redeem RNG for refueling tractors and delivery vehicles in UPS’s fleet this month.

UPS and Clean Energy Fuels Corp. estimate that the three stations will provide approximately 1.5 million gallon equivalents annually of RNG fuel to nearly 400 UPS CNG vehicles in California.

RNG, also known as biomethane, can be derived from many renewable sources, including decomposing organic waste in landfills, wastewater treatment and agriculture.

“Renewable natural gas is critical to our effort to minimize UPS’s environmental impact while meeting the growing demand for our services,” said Mitch Nichols, UPS senior vice president of transportation and engineering. “Our rolling laboratory approach provides a unique opportunity for UPS to test different fuels and technologies. Today’s RNG agreement will help mature the market for this promising alternative fuel. This commitment also positions UPS to use RNG in its extensive natural gas fleet which includes more than 2,500 medium and heavy duty vehicles.”

UPS currently operates natural gas tractors on RNG in the UK, through a partnership with Mercedes Benz.

In the US, UPS already uses several other alternative fuels and advanced technologies. Its fleet includes nearly 5,500 all-electric, hybrid electric, hydraulic hybrid, CNG, LNG, propane, biomethane and light-weight fuel-saving composite body vehicles.

On 30 April, UPS announced that it had added 64 LNG tractors to its fleet. The new tractors, based in Harrisburg, Pa., replaced older generation diesel-engine power units and will be used on designated routes in UPS Freight’s less-than-truckload (LTL) operations.

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