UPS’ hybrid-electric vans reduce fuel use by 29%, cost per mile by 15%
UPS and its competitors at FedEx and DHL have all been testing a variety of hybrid drive delivery vans for several years now. Recently, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory completed a twelve-month evaluation of six hybrid vans being used by UPS in the Phoenix, Arizona area and the results were good. Very good, in fact. After twelve months of operation, the hybrid vans averaged 28.9 percent lower fuel consumption than similar conventional diesel vans. Even with the extra cost of the hybrid vehicles, the overall cost per mile was cut by 15 percent.
The hybrid vans are based on Freightliner chassis with Mercedes-Benz diesel engines. The hybrid hardware was provided by Eaton corporation using the supplier’s automated manual transmission with integrated electric motor/generator. Electrical energy storage is provided by a lithium ion battery pack of unknown origin. As a result of the testing, UPS has ordered 200 more of the Eaton hybrid vans for its fleet. UPS is also continuing to test other hybrid vehicles, including hydraulic hybrids.