Natural gas has gotten a lot of attention lately for a promising alternative fuel to reduce U.S. dependence on imported oil, led largely by new discoveries, and record-low prices. Although many automakers and companies have spoken favorably about it from a hypothetical standpoint, UPS is putting its money where its mouth is, and purchasing an additional 700 liquefied natural gas (LNG) trucks to add to its existing fleet of 112.
LNG differs from CNG in that it is super-cooled and compressed so that its storage is in a liquid form, which allows for a denser on-board energy storage, a key factor in long-range trucking. LNG trucks have a high up-front cost compared to their conventional diesel-powered equivalents, but the high cost of diesel fuel, plus new emissions compliance rules including use of urea selective catalyst reduction have raised operating costs of diesel trucks substantially.
In addition to the expansion of its fleet, UPS is building new LNG fueling stations in Knoxville, Nashville, and Memphis, Tennessee, and Dallas, Texas. UPS currently has LNG fueling stations in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Salt Lake City and Ontario, California.
Worldwide, UPS already has a fleet of 2600 alternative-fuel vehicles, including electrics, hybrids, hydraulic hybrids, propane, and CNG vehicles.