UPS recently announced that it is adding 200 new next-generation hybrid electric delivery trucks to its already massive, low-emission and alternative-fuel vehicle fleet. The company’s green fleet is 20,000 vehicles strong, 50 of which are hybrid electric. The company has been using a fleet of 50 hybrid electric delivery trucks in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and Phoenix. The new batch of eco-friendly big brown trucks will be hitting the streets of Austin, Houston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Long Island, Minneapolis and Louisville.

The next-generation hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) delivery trucks will allow UPS to reduce fuel consumption by about 176,000 gallons each year. This reduction in fuel consumption will also lead to a reduction of nearly 1,800 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions on an annual basis.

The new HEVs use a diesel engine that recharges the battery pack or adds additional power to the engine when necessary. The battery pack can be recharged with regenerative braking technology. According to UPS, the combination of a clean diesel engine with electric power allows for a significant improvement in fuel consumption and emissions reductions when compared to a standard diesel-powered truck.

“We're proud of this large HEV deployment to major cities in the United States," said Bob Stoffel, UPS senior vice president of supply chain, strategy, engineering and sustainability. "This technology, where properly used, can yield a 35 percent fuel savings, the equivalent of 100 conventional UPS delivery vehicles.” Source: UPS

UPS started the hybrid electric vehicle trend among package delivery companies when it launched its first HEV in 1998, well before hybrid vehicles were as popular as they are today. In 2001, a HEV delivery truck was entered into regular service in the Huntsville, Ala., region. The second UPS hybrid delivery truck went into service three years later in Kalamazoo, Mich. With the addition of the second-generation HEV delivery trucks, UPS now has a hybridized fleet of 250 delivery trucks providing package delivery service to customers across the nation.