UPS recently reached a major milestone as its fleet of alternative fuel vehicles (AFV) racked up an impressive 200 million miles of travel since the year 2000. The shipping titan plans to double that figure by the year 2017 and has put the wheels in motion for expanding the fleet by ordering another 48 heavy tractor trucks equipped to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG) which, while not electric, is still a little better at least than straight gasoline.
“UPS operates AFVs in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Brazil, the UK and Hong Kong,” noted Mike Britt, UPS’s director of vehicle engineering. “The 200 million mile benchmark proves a number of AFV technologies are viable over the long term in a variety of working environments and so we’ll continue to expand the AFV fleet.”
UPS said heir first move toward the use of alternative fuel vehicles took place in 1930, when it purchased electric trucks for use in New York City. It has since ventured into eight different alternative fuel options including compressed natural Gas, propane, hybrid-electric vehicles, all-electric vehicles, LNG and liquefied petroleum (in Korea). The company is also considering hydraulic-hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell technologies.
To support the growing green fleet and the estimated 1.2 million gallons of LNG it will need, UPS has contracted with Clean Energy Fuels to build a publicly accessible LNG fueling station near their facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.