May 26, 2011 @ 4:38 pm
by mego

The New UPS Plastic Prototype via

We saw these new UPS vehicles on the Good Magazine blog today and had to research more. UPS is a pretty innovative company, constantly searching for ways to lower gas costs. In 2007 they created new routes based on making right turns, which lowered overall mileage by 28,541,472 million miles and saved millions of gallons of diesel fuel. They’ve gone even further by developing new prototypes rumored to save 40% more fuel.

UPS embarks on an epic search today; “The Search for MPG.” UPS is the proving ground for five new vehicles by Utilimaster and Isuzu. These are not alternative fuel vehicles. They are diesel vehicles, but have smaller, 4-cylinder engines and lightweight composite materials to increase their fuel efficiency.

UPS will test them through December 2011 on the harshest routes in our U.S. network. Will these lightweight vehicles survive the rigors of deserts, mountains, back roads, snow and the constant weight of the UPS packages delivered every day? Will they endure while saving 40 percent more fuel at the same time?

Although we have 1,900 alternative fuel vehicles, none of our package car-sized AFVs are suitable for high-mile routes. Their fuel systems aren’t efficient at long ranges. Maybe the venerable diesel engine can be re-engineered to sip less fuel and lose a little weight. The composite material makes exterior parts replacement modular and could eliminate paint entirely!

I like this approach. You don’t abandon an old favorite if there’s still a ton of room to improve and make it even better. In UPS’s case, diesel is still the only capable option for many routes, so we’re working to make it ultra-efficient. [Source]

The notorious marketing campaign, “What can brown do for you?” is now “How can Brown save money and the earth?” And it is proof that each company can do its part to save the earth while reducing costs and increasing efficiency.

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