UPS today said it plans to invest more than $90 million in natural gas trucks and fueling stations. This includes building an additional six compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations, adding 390 new CNG tractors and terminal trucks and 50 liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles to its fleet.
This follows a $100 million investment in CNG fueling stations and vehicles UPS made in 2016.
UPS has more than 4,400 natural gas vehicles in its fleet, according to Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president global engineering and sustainability. “In 2016, we used more than 61 million gallons of natural gas in our ground fleet, which included 4.6 million gallons of renewable natural gas,” Wallace said in a statement. “This helped us to avoid the use of conventional gas and diesel, and decreased CO2 emissions by 100,000 metric tons.”
When used as vehicle fuel, natural gas reduces greenhouse gas emissions 6 to 11 percent compared to conventional fuel, according to the US Department of Energy. In addition to cutting emissions, using alternative fuels can also reduce fuel and operational costs.
“Fuel is a big expense for us,” Chuck Holland, vice president of industrial engineering at UPS said in an earlier interview. “If we can save 1 mile per driver per year in the domestic US, that’s about a $50 million savings for us.”
UPS currently operates 31 CNG fueling stations in the US and runs CNG vehicles in 38 states in addition to vehicles in Germany, the Netherlands and Thailand. The six new CNG stations will be built in Ontario, California; Orlando, Florida; Salina, Kansas; Louisville, Kentucky; Greensboro, North Carolina; and Vancouver, BC, Canada. Renewable natural gas will be used at the station in Ontario to fuel UPS vehicles with renewable compressed natural gas.
UPS also purchased 50 additional LNG vehicles that were deployed in Indianapolis, Chicago, Nashville and Earth City, Missouri, where UPS has existing LNG stations.
The company says it has driven more than 1 billion miles since 2000 with its alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet. It has invested more than $750 million in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and fueling stations globally since 2009.