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UPS began incorporating alternative fuels and advanced vehicles into its fleet in the late 1980s. Today, the company operates nearly 2,000 vehicles that run on electricity, compressed natural gas, and other alternative fuels.
Back in April, President Obama announced the National Clean Fleets Partnership against the backdrop of energy-efficient vehicles from all five of the charter partners, AT&T, FedEx, PepsiCo/Frito-Lay, UPS and Verizon. These companies collectively committed to deploy more than 20,000 advanced technology vehicles – an effort that will save more than 7 million gallons of fuel per year and further the Obama Administration’s goal of reducing U.S. oil imports by a third by 2025.
Earlier this week, these charter members welcomed six new corporate partners – Coca-Cola, Enterprise Holdings, General Electric, OSRAM SYLVANIA, Ryder and Staples – who collectively operate nearly a million commercial vehicles nationwide. By joining this public-private partnership, partners are granted access to specialized Department of Energy resources, technical expertise and support, all of which can significantly help companies achieve greater fleet efficiency and cost-savings.
Each of the new partners has already shown a commitment to using clean energy technologies and reducing petroleum use. Coca-Cola for example has established the largest hybrid delivery fleet in North America, while Enterprise Holdings, which includes a variety of rental car agencies, has begun to offer Chevy Volts and Nissan Leafs as rental options and plans to further expand its portfolio in the coming years. Staples has also taken serious steps to curb its oil consumption, increasing the fuel economy of its fleet by more than 20 percent since 2007 by enacting fuel saving measures such as automatically limiting truck idling to less than 3 minutes and capping the top speed of their vehicles at 60 miles per hour.
Other partners are actively working to enact sweeping changes to their fleets that embrace emerging technologies and increase efficiency. General Electric has committed to convert half of its global vehicle fleet and will partner with fleet customers to deploy a total of 25,000 electric vehicles by 2015, while OSRAM SYLVANIA aims to replace 10-12 percent of its fleet every year with more efficient vehicles. Ryder will deploy hundreds of heavy-duty liquefied natural gas (LNG) trucks and build out additional infrastructure, such as LNG fueling stations and two additional maintenance facilities, to support them. This project alone is expected to save 1.5 million gallons of diesel fuel per year.
The continued growth of the National Clean Fleets Partnership illustrates how embracing energy efficient technologies not only benefits the environment and reduces our dependency on foreign oil but also bolsters the bottom-line of businesses and consumers across the nation. We look forward to bringing you more milestones from our partners in the months and years to come.
For more information on how your business can get involved with either the Partnership or a Clean Cities coalition in your area, check out the National Clean Fleets Partnership site.