UPS is exploring a new way to reduce the carbon footprint generated by its delivery trucks, focusing on design features. The company’s international alternative fuel fleet already includes hybrid electric delivery trucks, electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell models and vehicles that run on compressed natural gas (CNG). The newest addition to the company’s green fleet may be the CV-23 Prototype.

UPS is working with Utilimaster and Isuzu to road test five new composite delivery trucks. Unlike other vehicles in the UPS green fleet, this truck runs on traditional diesel fuel but uses alternative design measures to improve the efficiency of the vehicle and reduce its environmental impact.

The CV-23 Prototype is equipped with a high efficiency 150 horsepower 4-cyldiner diesel engine, has LED marker and interior lights and includes a roll-up door and fold-up shelves for easy loading. The vehicle is made with composite body panels, which delivers a 1,000-pound weight reduction over the comparable UPS P70 delivery vehicle. The lighter weight reduces the amount of fuel needed to power the vehicle.

The five vehicles will be tested through the end of the year in five cities. The cities were each chosen for a specific reason:

  • Lincoln, Nebraska – rough back roads
  • Albany, New York – tough winters
  • Tucson, Arizona – extreme heat
  • Flint, Michigan – long urban route near Isuzu headquarters
  • Roswell, Georgia – close access to the UPS corporate automotive department
Ultimately, the two goals for the CV-23 are to withstand the beating that UPS vehicles take on their daily delivery routes and yield a 40 percent increase in fuel efficiency over the P70.