UPS adds more than 700 natural gas vehicles to delivery fleet

Delivery firm UPS has ordered 730 compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles as part of a wider bid to replace 40% of its ground fleet fuel with sources other than conventional petrol and diesel by 2020.

The 400 semi-tractors and 330 terminal trucks, which cost UPS more than £98m ($130m), will be deployed on the company’s US routes by the end of 2018, as the company progresses towards its flagship science-based target to reduce carbon emissions by 12% by 2025.

The vehicles will be supported by five new CNG fuelling stations across five states and from the firm’s 50 existing natural gas pumping facilities.

“We strongly believe further investment in our natural gas fleet is a key element to help us achieve our long-term goals for reducing our CO2 emissions,” UPS’ president of global fleet maintenance and engineering, Carlton Rose, said.

Rose added that the move from UPS, which is largest consumer of renewable natural gas in the delivery sector, asserts its position as a “catalyst for wide scale adoption of natural gas vehicles”.

Rolling lab

The company, which operates around 9,100 low-emission vehicles globally, is widely regarded as a sustainability leader in the mobility sector due to a sizeable low-emission fleet, which includes all-electric, hybrid electric, hydraulic hybrid, ethanol, CNG, propane and liquid natural gas vehicles, that is constantly being monitored and altered based on which technology works best in each route configuration.

The fleet, known as the “Rolling Laboratory”, includes 700 hybrid-electric and 300 fully-electric delivery vehicles in Europe and the US, with recent additions being 105 fully-electric delivery trucks in London and 35 zero-emissions ARRIVAL vans in the English and French capitals.

Since its launch ten years ago, the Rolling Laboratory initiative has enabled UPS to invest upwards of £560m ($750m) in alternative fuel and advanced technology fuelling stations globally, with this figure set to hit $1bn by the end of 2018.  

Last year, UPS revealed that the Rolling Laboratory’s delivery trucks had passed a milestone of collectively travelling one billion miles a year early. In a recent move to meet its carbon emissions and renewables targets, UPS this year installed new ‘smart grid’ charging technology at its central London depot, enabling it to simultaneously recharge all 170 trucks based there without the need for an expensive upgrade to the power supply grid.

Sarah George

Comments (1)

  1. Trevor Smith says:

    Good job. CNG is possibly superior to LNG because of the potential for fugitive methane emissions (25x GWP of CO2) with the latter

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