UPS Adds 130 Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Package delivery company UPS has purchased 130 next generation hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) to add to its growing alternative-fuel vehicle (AFV) fleet. The 130 hybrids all will be deployed in 2011, with 30 going to New York and New Jersey and 100 to California.

UPS estimates these vehicles will save 66,085 gallons of fuel and 671 metric tonnes of CO2 annually, representing a 35% improvement in fuel economy. That’s the equivalent of 128 passenger cars being taken off the road.

UPS currently operates 2,022 alternative-fuel vehicles. The company has invested more than $25 million to develop its AFV fleet, which besides hybrid electric includes such other fuels as compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, propane and all-electric.

The hybrid electric power system utilizes a conventional diesel engine combined with a battery pack, saving fuel and reducing pollution-causing emissions. The energy generated from braking is captured and returned to the battery as electricity.

The HEV fleet features two different size vehicles from Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. and a hybrid drive system from Eaton Corp. The external truck bodies are identical to UPS’s other signature brown trucks, although they feature additional labeling identifying them as hybrid electrics.

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