UPS spends $100m on CNG vehicles and fuel stations

International logistics company UPS is to try to tackle its carbon emissions through the purchase of 380 new Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) tractors and the development of 12 new CNG fuelling stations across the US.

The company plans on investing USD $100 million in the project. “At UPS, we own our fleet and our infrastructure. That allows us to invest for the long-term, rather than planning around near-term fluctuations in fuel pricing,” said Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president global engineering and sustainability.

“CNG is part of a broad investment in a variety of alternative fuel vehicles. Taken together, all of our alternative fuel vehicles represent 6% of the more than 100,000 UPS global fleet, and have driven a 10% annual reduction in use of conventional fuel.”

According to the US Department of Energy, using CNG reduces carbon emissions by 6-11%. The fuel is taxed less and overall this leads to cost savings. CNG has similar range to diesel unlike liquefied petroleum gas so for minimal extra technology or weight UPS can use the new vehicles alongside its existing diesel fleet.

The 12 new CNG stations will be built by TruStar Energy in Amarillo, Texas; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Columbia, S.C.; El Paso, Texas; Fort Worth, Texas; Kansas City, Kan.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Reno, Nev.; San Antonio, Texas; Tifton, Ga.; Trinidad, Colo., and Willow Grove, Pa.

The new CNG tractors will be manufactured by Kenworth. Agility and Quantum Fuel Systems will provide the CNG storage systems.

The new $100m investment announced yesterday (15 March) builds on the company’s existing 18 CNG fueling stations in Alabama, California, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. UPS also operates CNG vehicles in Germany, the Netherlands and Thailand.