UPS will deploy first extended-range fuel-cell truck by September

The hydrogen-fueled extender adds 125 miles of range.

UPS will deploy its first extended-range fuel-cell vehicle in Sacramento, California, by September. The shipping giant said its prototype will be a medium-duty delivery truck that will be powered by an electric motor with a hydrogen fuel-cell-powered range extender that will enable another 125 miles of range. UPS is working with the US Department of Energy on the project.

UPS aims to put its fuel-cell truck prototypes through 5,000 hours of service for testing purposes. The effort is part of the company's goal to meet the state's zero-emissions requirements while benefiting the broadening network of hydrogen refueling stations throughout California.

All told, UPS has sunk more than $750 million in advanced-powertrain and alternative-fuel powertrains and technology since 2009. UPS says it has a "rolling laboratory" of more than 8,100 alternative-fuel vehicles that cover more than a million miles a day. The fleet has logged more than 1 billion miles since 2000. The company estimates that about 12 percent of its predominately diesel-powered fleet are now powered by alternative fuels such as renewable diesel, and that it's purchased more than 1,300 tractors that run on liquefied natural gas (LNG).

UPS notably put 100 battery-electric trucks into service throughout central California in early 2013 and said at the time that the trucks, which had a 75-mile single-charge range, would cut diesel-fuel usage by about 126,000 gallons a year. UPS, which says its usage of electric-powered trucks dates back to the 1930s, bought those trucks from California-based Electric Vehicles International.

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