"Brown" continues to try to get all the more "green" via propane. UPS, known for its famous brown vehicles, is adding to its fleet of alt-fuel trucks with an additional 1,000 propane-powered delivery trucks that will start going into service in the middle of this year in rural areas in Louisiana and Oklahoma.

The shipping giant says it's spending $70 million on the effort, which includes deploying 50 propane-filling stations at various UPS facilities. The company is working with the Propane Education & Research Council to roll out the program. The trucks are said to be able to go about 200 miles on a full tank and will eliminate the need for about 3.5 million gallons of diesel and gasoline annually.

UPS already has more than 3,150 alt-fuel vehicles that use hybrid-electric, battery-electric and compressed natural gas (CNG) powertrains, including about 900 propane trucks in Canada. The company, which started testing a batch of 20 propane trucks last year, is participating in the effort to make more use of the US supply of natural gas and reduce foreign-oil dependency. In 2011, UPS bought 100 battery-electric delivery trucks to use in California and started deploying those trucks early last year. Check out UPS's press release on the propane trucks below.
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UPS Invests in Propane for U.S. Delivery Fleet

Atlanta, March 05, 2014

Initial fueling infrastructure built at 50 locations in collaboration with Propane Education & Research Council

UPS® (NYSE: UPS) today announced plans to purchase 1,000 propane package delivery trucks and install an initial 50 fueling stations at UPS locations. The investment in propane vehicles and infrastructure is approximately $70 million.

The propane fleet will replace gasoline- and diesel-fueled vehicles used largely in rural areas in Louisiana and Oklahoma with other states pending. The vehicles on these routes can travel up to 200 miles on a tank of propane. Operations will begin by mid-2014 and be completed early next year.

UPS, in collaboration with the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), a non-profit propane technology incubator, worked with equipment manufacturers to secure certifications with the EPA and California Air Resources Board.

UPS tested 20 propane-powered brown delivery trucks successfully this past winter in Gainesville, Ga., and expanded its order with Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. UPS uses a "rolling laboratory" approach to test different fuel sources and technologies according to their route characteristics. The new propane fleet is expected to travel more than 25 million miles and to displace approximately 3.5 million gallons of conventional gasoline and diesel per year.

"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," said Roy Willis, president and CEO of PERC. "This announcement is the culmination of many entities bringing together the best in propane technology to achieve the greatest economic and environmental results."
The UPS deployment this year benefits from propane autogas' wide availability as a result of increased natural gas production in the U.S., and there is more price stability with the accessible supply. UPS currently operates nearly 900 propane vehicles in Canada.

UPS has one of the largest private alternative fuel fleets in the nation with more than 3,150 alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. This includes all-electric, hybrid electric, hydraulic hybrid, CNG, LNG, propane, biomethane, and light-weight fuel-saving composite body vehicles.
For more information on UPS's sustainability initiatives, review the company's 2012 Corporate Sustainability Report at www.ups.com/Sustainability. The upcoming 2013 report is to be released mid-year .

About the Vehicles: The Freightliner Custom Chassis built for UPS uses a GM engine. Both the engine and system integration were provided by Powertrain Integration. The propane autogas fuel system was supplied from CleanFuel USA. Development of the engine, fuel platform and chassis were made possible through cooperation between these companies and the Propane Education & Research Council.

About UPS UPS (NYSE: UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions for the transportation of packages and freight, including innovative delivery options for the global consumer market; the facilitation of international trade, and the deployment of advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. The company also has a world-class sustainability program committed to positive social, community and environmental impact. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. The company can be found on the Web at ups.com® and its corporate blog can be found at blog.ups.com. To get UPS news direct, visit pressroom.ups.com/RSS.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      CoolWaters obviously does not know much about this subject, so go do some research before making dumb comments. Propane is an incredible idea because it cost less per mile and does not create pollution like burning Diesel and Gas fuels. You don't believe their propane fleet will "displace approximately 3.5 million gallons of conventional gasoline and diesel per year". Who cares if the these power trains are obsolete, they will use them for 10 years and then something new will come along. In the mean time, they are saving million$ and not creating an environmental nightmare for our children. Grow up and smell the roses... hopefully with people like UPS and other doing their part we will be able to!
      • 8 Months Ago
      Hank Hill approves.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Propane and CNG make a great deal of sense in commercial fleets.
      • 8 Months Ago
      What a joke, they switched to PROPANE, and you called that Green? These trucks are not even HYBRIDS? This is the Dumbest Way to spend money I've ever heard of. These power trains are INSTANTLY obsolete with ZERO resale value.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Smoking some good stuff there.... There is no medium truck hybrid system that offers a decent ROI, unlike propane which will pay dividends in the right operation. The powertrains are not remotely obsolete, not that it matters given that UPS will not be reselling any vehicles. The aluminum chassis that UPS buys will last for decades and see multiple refits in its lifetime. Although they have not stated one way or the other, it is likely that many of these 1,000 trucks are in fact refits of existing gasoline trucks (some of which might actually be 30-40 years old). That is one of beauties of propane: it is a relatively simple transition from gasoline and is compatible with their existing chassis design.
        • 8 Months Ago
        you are the reason most skip autoblog green comments. Plz go live in a tree
        • 8 Months Ago
        CW, I was trying to figure out which saying was a more appropriate response to your post. "The road to hell is paved with good intentions," was my first thought. But after thinking about it a bit more, perhaps "Don't let perfect be the enemy of good enough," probably sums it up better. Getting fleets off diesel and into natural gas is a good thing. Both for our environment and our economy. Someday our fleets may transition to electricity or, possibly, hydrogen, but in the meantime natural gas is as good as it gets.
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