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UPS Orders 200 Hybrid and 300 CNG Vehicles from Daimler

UPS has ordered 200 hybrid-electric (HEV) and 300 compressed natural gas vehicles from Daimler Trucks North America’s (DTNA) Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC). The order is being manufactured on FCCC’s walk-in van MT45 and MT55 chassis product line.

The diesel hybrids combine a Mercedes-Benz MBE 904 diesel and hybrid system from Eaton to achieve a more than 40% improvement in fuel economy and a more than 90% reduction in emissions compared to baseline non-hybrid vehicles.

The hybrid system uses a parallel, pre-transmission design. Primary components are the Hybrid Drive Unit (HDU), which combines a clutch, a 44 kW/420 Nm motor/generator and automatically controlled manual transmission; the motor inverter/controller; the DC/DC converter; and a 2 kWh li-ion battery pack. (Earlier post.)

The 200 hybrid electric vehicles will be deployed in 2009 and join the 25 FCCC HEV delivery trucks already in operation at UPS. The 200 trucks are expected to save 176,000 gallons of fuel annually and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1,786 tons each year.

In March, UPS deployed 167 additional Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) delivery vehicles in Texas, Georgia and California, joining more than 800 CNG vehicles already in use by UPS in the United States. (Earlier post.)

While previous CNG vehicles in UPS’ fleet were converted from gasoline and diesel vehicles in the 1980s to run on alternative fuels, the new vehicles are originally manufactured for alternative fuel use. The CNG truck bodies are identical externally to the signature-brown trucks that now constitute the UPS fleet although they will be marked as CNG vehicles.

The FCCC CNG vehicles use a 5.9-liter, six-cylinder Cummins B Gas Plus that produces 195 to 230 hp (145 to 172 kW) with a torque range of 420 to 500 lb-ft (569 to 678 Nm).



I expect UPS, FedEx, and every other delivery service to rush towards hybrids as fast as they can go.


Those motors are torque monsters. I suppose they fit the application perfectly.


176,000 gallons annually...if we assume fuel averages $5/gal in 2009, then the cumulative savings will be $880,000.

That means each vehicle is saving about $4,400/year. I'm guessing that they cost ~$50Kapiece so that's a little less than 10% ROI. Not great but not bad for a mature company.

Now if you consider that they probably had to add 200 vehicles to their fleet anyways, the incremental cost of the hybrid system will probably be recouped in the first 2 years. (No way that system adds more than $8800 to the cost of the vehicle)

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