UPS to Buy 1,000 Propane-Fueled Trucks

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UPS Inc. said it is planning to purchase 1,000 propane-fueled delivery trucks and install 50 fueling stations at its facilities, representing a $70 million investment.

The trucks will replace diesel- and gasoline-fueled vehicles in largely rural areas of Louisiana and Oklahoma, and other areas might follow, UPS said in a March 5 statement. The vehicles will start operating in the middle of this year and be fully deployed by early 2015.

“The UPS alternative fuel strategy is to invest in the most environmentally friendly and economical energy sources,” Chief Operating Officer David Abney, said in a statement. “Propane meets those criteria as a clean-burning fuel that lowers operating costs and is readily accessible, especially on rural routes in the United States.”

States that offer tax incentives and grants for propane use are more likely than others to attract UPS for propane use, Abney added.

The rollout follows a 20-truck test of propane delivery trucks that UPS conducted this past winter, the company said.

UPS tests a wide variety of alternative fuels in its delivery fleet, depending on particular route and location characteristics. The fleet includes more than 3,150 trucks using alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies, UPS said.

UPS, based in Atlanta, Ga., ranks No. 1 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.

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