Don’t be surprised if your standard-issue brown UPS delivery truck takes on a greenish hue. The company announced it will add 4,100 low-emission vehicles and 50 hybrids this year. The move is a cost-cutting strategy, and one that shows the company’s faith that saving the planet also saves the bottom line.The company expects the hybrids to save 44,000 gallons of fuel per year; the low-emission delivery trucks will save 1.5 million gallons of fuel, and also emit less carbon dioxide. A UPS spokesman told Reuters he expects the fuel savings to more than make up for the cost of the trucks. The first of the green trucks will begin making deliveries in Dallas this June. The company already has 10,000 low-emission and alternative fuel trucks in its fleet, according to the UPS web site.
Still, with a fleet of 88,000 trucks, vans, and other ground delivery vehicles – delivering 41.1 million packages per day – you could argue that the new hybrids and other vehicles merely dent the surface.
UPS is not alone in its conversion to a more enegy-efficient delivery fleet. Fast Company magazine reported back in May 2004 that FedEx expected to replace all of its medium-size trucks – 30,000 of them – with hybrids by 2014.