UPS seals the deal for fleet of alternative-fuel vehicles
UPS ordered the vehicles from Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (FCCC), based in Gaffney, S.C. According to Freightliner, the transaction is the largest order of alternative-fuel commercial vehicles ever placed.
Freightliner’s walk-in van MT45 and MT55 chassis will be used to manufacture the vehicles’ earth-friendly powertrains.
The alternative-fuel vehicles will be used by UPS for daily delivery operations across the United States and will function in unison with its current fleet of conventional diesel powertrain vehicles.
CNG boosts fuel efficiency
The 300 vehicles that run on compressed natural gas (CNG) will be deployed by UPS in late 2008. According to Freightliner, the purchase of these vehicles reflects growing customer demand for alternative solutions to meet current fuel conservation goals for fleets.
Each CNG fuel system includes twin seamless aluminum cylinders with a carbon-fiber shell and stainless steel fuel/vent lines. This fuel system will provide a nominal 275-mile fuel range.
Boasting a lightweight, noncorrosive design, the fuel system includes proprietary crash-barrier shields around the fuel tanks to protect the CNG components. A Smart Start electric fuel disconnect switch safeguards the CNG fuel fill receptacle, disabling the vehicle’s ignition system while the vehicle is being fueled.
HEVs add combination power
The 200 hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) ordered by UPS will be deployed in 2009 and will join the 25 FCCC HEV delivery trucks already in operation. These 200 trucks are expected to save 176,000 gallons of fuel annually and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1,786 metric tons each year.
Thanks to the hybrid-electric powertrain, combined with a diesel engine and electric motor, the FCCC chassis boasts an estimated 40 percent improvement in fuel economy and more than a 90 percent reduction in emissions, compared to baseline nonhybrid vehicles.
Each HEV features a seamless combination of diesel and electric power, which mates a hybrid motor/generator with lithium-ion batteries. The batteries capture and store energy during the regenerative braking phase of the vehicle’s operation.
Both the engine and the electric motor can provide power to the HEV’s drivetrain. The hybrid supervisory controller selects the most efficient mode of operation, depending on current operating conditions and driver demand.
Incentives steer purchases
Ideal for pickup and delivery applications, the HEV and CNG vehicles offer increased fuel economy and decreased emissions. Both vehicles offer the same productivity, performance, durability and reliability as Freightliner’s premium diesel-powered chassis.
FCCC also recently announced that the purchase of a hybrid electric or CNG chassis may result in substantial federal tax credits. The FCCC MT45/MT55 models built with the Eaton 44-kW hybrid electric system may realize a $4,500 tax credit, while the CNG-powered chassis equipped with the 5.9-liter, Cummins B Gas Plus natural-gas engine may qualify for up to $25,000 in tax credits. For additional tax-credit information, visit the Web site of the Internal Revenue Service: http://www.irs.gov/.
For more information about various chassis for delivery walk-in vans, school buses, shuttle buses and other vehicles, visit Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp., a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC: http://www.freightlinerchassis.com/.