UPS announced today it plans to purchase 1,000 propane-autogas-fueled package delivery trucks and install an initial 50 autogas fueling stations at UPS locations, starting in Louisiana and Oklahoma. The $70 million project will begin by mid-2014 and be completed early next year, UPS reported.
The package-delivery giant plans to replace conventional gasoline-and diesel-fueled vehicles with the autogas vehicles. The fleet of 1,000 autogas vehicles is expected to travel more than 25 million miles and displace about 3.5 million gallons of gasoline and diesel annually. UPS said it is considering expanding the program to other states.
“The UPS alternative fuel strategy is to invest in the most environmentally friendly and economical energy sources,” David Abney, UPS chief operating officer, said in a statement. “Propane meets those criteria as a clean-burning fuel that lowers operating costs and is readily accessible.”
UPS collaborated with the Propane Education & Research Council to work with equipment manufacturers to secure Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board certifications. For this project UPS will use a Freightliner Custom Chassis with a GM engine. Powertrain Integration is providing the engine and system integration, and CleanFuel USA is providing the autogas fuel system.
“The opportunity to road test new propane vehicles and fueling equipment with one of the most sophisticated fleets in the country is a major milestone for the propane industry,” Roy Willis, president and CEO of PERC, said. “This announcement is the culmination of many entities bringing together the best in propane technology to achieve the greatest economic and environmental results.”
UPS currently operates more than 3,150 alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles in the U.S., and operates nearly 900 propane-autogas vehicles in Canada. UPS tested 20 autogas-powered brown delivery trucks in Gainesville, Ga., this winter, traveling 173,000 miles and displacing 25,000 gallons of petroleum.