Atlanta-based United Parcel Service (UPS) said Wednesday it plans to spend $90 million on natural gas vehicles (NGV) and related fueling infrastructure, including six compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations, 390 CNG tractors and terminal trucks and 50 liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles.
Company officials said they intend to continue expanding a "rolling laboratory" of alternative fueled vehicles, including more than 4,400 NGVs and a network of fueling stations.
"UPS has had great results using natural gas as an alternative fuel in our fleet," said Senior Vice President Mark Wallace, who handles global engineering and sustainability. "We know the importance of investing in natural gas globally for our fleet and the alternative fuel market."
Last year, UPS used more than 61 million gallons of natural gas in its ground fleet that included 4.6 million gallons of renewable natural gas (RNG), Wallace said. "This helped us to avoid the use of conventional gasoline and diesel, decreasing our carbon dioxide emissions by 100,000 metric tons.”
The six UPS CNG stations are slated for Ontario, CA; Orlando, FL; Salina, KS; Louisville, KY; Greensboro, NC; and Vancouver, BC. The California station would provide RNG for the UPS fleet. Last year, UPS invested $100 million in CNG fueling stations and vehicles.
UPS officials said the company has 31 CNG fueling stations in 15 states and operates CNG vehicles in 38 states, in addition to NGVs in Germany, the Netherlands and Thailand. Since 2009, UPS has reportedly invested more than $750 million in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and fueling stations globally.
In related news, American Fueling Systems has opened its first combined CNG/diesel fueling facility in Houston to serve FedEx, AT&T, CenterPoint Energy and public/private fleets in the area.
On the technology front, Austria’s Cryoshelter plants to bring its second-generation LNG fuel tanks for trucks to market in May at the ACT Expo 2017 in Long Beach, CA. Rhe U.S. R110-certified tanks are being promoted as offering "significant advantages in terms of both capacity and hold time for the cryogenic fuel."
Separately on Wednesday, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) warned that the Trump administration's decision to roll back Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) vehicle rules threatens clean car standards. EPA plans to reexamine the standards to increase fuel economy to the equivalent of 54.5 mpg for model year 2025.
Proposed cutbacks at EPA could risk billions of dollars of savings at the gasoline pump, according to ACEEE's Therese Langer, transportation program director. "Automakers pushed the administration...but they are doing their own industry a disservice," she said.
"In an intensely competitive global vehicle market that is heading toward highly efficient, low-emission vehicles, U.S. manufacturers need to keep moving forward.”
EDF's Sharyn Stein said the federal standards "enhance our nation's energy security by reducing oil consumption by 2 million b/d by 2025" and characterized the savings as eliminating "more oil than we import from any single country other than Canada."
EDF President Fred Krupp added that "Americans can out-compete anyone in the world if we set smart goals, and the administration is making a mistake to retreat on the standards and let other countries take the lead in developing the next generation of cars."