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UPS Commits $100M to Expand U.S. CNG Use

United Parcel Service (UPS) plans to build 12 compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations and add 380 tractor trucks to its growing alternative fuel fleet with a commitment of up to $100 million, the shipper said.

The dozen fueling stations would be built in nine states by TruStar Energy including in the Texas cities of Amarillo, El Paso, Fort Worth and San Antonio, as well as Chattanooga, TN; Columbia, SC; Kansas City, KS; Phoenix; Reno, NV; Tifton, GA; Trinidad, CO; and Willow Grove, PA.

UPS would expand from its current 18 CNG locations in more than a dozen U.S. states and in Germany, the Netherlands and Thailand.

"UPS was one of the original 13 companies to make an Obama administration climate change pledge, agreeing to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its operations by 20% by the year 2020," the company said.

UPS operates 6,840 alternative fuel vehicles (electric, hydraulic hybrids, CNG, liquefied natural gas, propane and lightweight composite bodied vehicles).

The latest commitment is part of a plan to diversify fueling of its more than 100,000-vehicle global fleet, which operates in 220 nations. Along with other alternatives, UPS has supported natural gas vehicles (NGV) for several years (see Daily GPIApril 29, 2013; Feb. 24, 2011).

UPS has a corporate goal to log one billion miles by the end of 2017 using alternative fuels and an advanced technology fleet.

"We test and deploy a variety of vehicle types, matched to the terrain and delivery conditions at each location," the company says on its website. "This approach helps UPS continuously integrate new technologies and operational efficiencies in our large, global delivery fleet."

UPS Senior Vice President Mark Wallace, who handles global engineering and sustainability, said the company owns its fleet and infrastructure, which “allows us to invest for the long term, rather than planning around near-term fluctuations in fuel pricing. CNG is part of a broad investment in a variety of alternative fuel vehicles, representing 6% of the worldwide fleet."

NGVAmerica President Matt Godlewski said the announcement was more evidence that "natural gas as a transportation fuel is here to stay.” He said UPS has more than 5,000 NGVs in its fleet.

"UPS, more than anyone, is studying the long-term viability of alternative fuel vehicles in the future, so to make this kind of commitment, on top of the commitment it made last year, says a lot about the long-term environmental and economic benefits of natural gas as a transportation fuel," he said.

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