In a collaborative
project with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and
DaimlerChrysler, UPS will begin operating package delivery vehicles
powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The deployment of the zero-emission
vehicles, in two different sizes, will begin late this year and
continue in 2004 and will be the first use of fuel cell technology
in a commercial delivery fleet in North America.
Its time to deploy this technology in a commercial fleet
and learn exactly whats needed to make it broadly available,
said Tom Weidemeyer, chief operating officer of UPS and president
of UPS Airlines, the 11th largest airline in the U.S. These
vehicles are going to be rolling laboratories. Environmental improvements
like this and the needs of business are not incompatible.
DaimlerChrysler will supply the fuel cell vehicles for UPS, while
the EPA will supply a hydrogen refueling station at its National
Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, MI. The fueling
station will be operational by the end of 2003 and will provide
compressed hydrogen fuel to the UPS vehicles as well as other fuel-cell
cars in the area.
The first fuel cell vehicle to be tested by UPS will be a DaimlerChrysler
F-Cell, which will be used for early-morning deliveries
by late 2003. In 2004, UPS will add one or more fuel cell-powered
Sprinter delivery vans to its fleet. There are currently 2,500 Sprinter
vehicles in UPS domestic and international fleets. Sprinters
normally are powered by a highly fuel-efficient diesel engine and
are certified as ultra low emission vehicles under EPA guidelines.
Fuel cells convert chemical energyin this case, hydrogens
reaction with oxygeninto electricity without combustion. The
reaction of hydrogen and oxygen produce water vapor and heat as
its only by-products, or emissions. The lack of any exhaust emissions
makes fuel cell technology the ultimate alternative fuel.
The fuel cell vehicles will join an already large number of alternative
fuel vehicles in UPS fleet. UPS operates 1,024 compressed
natural gas vehicles in the United States, the largest private fleet
in the nation. In addition, the company operates more than 800 propane-powered
vehicles in Canada and Mexico City; liquefied natural gas tractors
in its West Coast fleet and an assortment of all-electric vehicles
in its operating facilities. UPS began testing hybrid electric technology
in 1998 and made history in 2001 by introducing the industrys
first hybrid electric vehicle into its operations.
Fuel cell technology is the latest innovation in UPS commitment
to develop sustainable
transport options. The company is working to develop future generations
of delivery vehicles that reduce dependence on fossil fuels, significantly
reduce fuel consumption and create a vehicle platform to bridge
to the hydrogen economy. Some of these efforts include:
* 21st Century Truck PartnershipIn this government-industry
agencies and the transportation/trucking industry are working together
on technologies to make vehicles safer, cleaner and more efficient,
while maintaining fleet safety and cost-effectiveness.
* EPA SmartWay Transport ProgramThis voluntary partnership
with leading members of Americas truck and rail transport
sectors aims to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from
ground freight carriers. The goal of this initiative by 2012 is
to reduce as much as 18 million metric tons of carbon equivalent,
and up to 200,000 tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx) annually. These
reductions will create fuel savings of up to 150 million barrels
of oil annually.
* Clean Cargo & Green FreightUPS is an active member
of the Business for Social Responsibilitys Green Freight working
group. Together with the Clean Cargo group, Green Freight is developing
voluntary environmental guidelines to enhance fleets performances
while spurring a broader movement toward a sustainable transportation