Trucks are not a sexy topic, but they are a big contributors to air pollution and global warming, especially in the US where shipping by train has seen better days (in 2002, trucks transported 58.2% of all commercial freight while rail was 12%). So it's good to see that it's not only passenger vehicles that are improving in efficiency.
Coca Cola has ordered 120 Eaton hybrid delivery trucks, on top of the 20 it bought in 2007. These should reduce emissions by about 32% and fuel consumption by up to 37% compared to the company's regular trucks.
UPS Canada is going a different route: Propane (LPG). The company will use 139 new propane-powered trucks that are expected to reduce UPS’ CO2 emissions by 254 metric tonnes per year, a 35% improvement compared to conventional engines. "Additionally, particulate matter emitted from vehicles will be virtually eliminated."
Eaton’s hybrid system for city delivery applications uses a parallel, pre-transmission design with Eaton’s Fuller UltraShift automated transmission. Primary components are the Hybrid Drive Unit (HDU), which combines a clutch, a 44 kW/420 Nm motor/generator and automatically controlled manual transmission; the motor inverter/controller; the DC/DC converter; and a 2 kWh li-ion battery pack from Hitachi. [...]
UPS’ global alternative-fuel fleet now stands at 1,629 vehicles—the largest such private fleet in the transportation industry—and includes compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, propane and electric and hybrid electric vehicles. UPS is also working with the US Environmental Protection Agency on a hydraulic hybrid delivery vehicle.
This is not enough. Still not sustainable. But it is a step in the right direction and worth noting (we've always been more carrot than stick at TreeHugger). Lets just not take our eyes off the final goal and keep going.
See also: ::Coca-Cola To Spend $3 Million For Green Upgrades, ::Coca-Cola to Step Up Recycling, Improve Image, ::Coca Cola and WWF Conserving Water (?), ::UPS Unveils "World's Most Efficient Delivery Vehicle", ::UPS’s New Hydraulic Hybrid Available For Test Ride In NYC, ::UPS To Spend $600 Million On Improving Efficiency, ::Wal-Mart Hits The Road With Hybrid Peterbilt 386