UPS updates hybrid delivery trucks

International delivery company United Parcel Service (UPS) has announced that it has updated its 125 US hybrid electric trucks, that will extend their range and improve their fuel economy.

Yesterday the company said in a statement, “A compact, quiet-running 2-cylinder engine replaces a prior 4-cylinder engine to extend their range, improve performance and fuel efficiency.

“The updated trucks deliver significant fuel economy equivalency gains – up to four times the fuel economy of a gasoline-powered vehicle.

“They will be deployed in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, Ohio and Texas later this year.”

Carlton Rose, UPS Global Fleet Maintenance and Engineering president said, “These vehicles are a great example of the impact our Rolling Lab approach is having.

“Our real-world testing of this new technology revealed opportunities to improve its performance and efficiency, which led to the development of a more advanced propulsion system.”

Delivery vehicles are increasingly becoming a major contributor to global carbon emissions due to the explosive growth of e-commerce. Actions, even as baby steps by major delivery businesses such as UPS should be welcomed as a step toward tackling the problem. While UPS is updating its existing fleet of hybrids, other companies are looking at other similar options. One of the drawbacks is that low carbon vehicles are not as economical in total costs as petrol / diesel versions.