Rumbidzai Mufuka for GlobalAtlanta
Atlanta-based United Parcel Services Inc. and industry partners launched the world’s first hydraulic hybrid diesel urban delivery vehicle on Wednesday, June 21, in Washington.

UPS has been working with the Environmental Protection Agency, Eaton Corp., International Truck and Engine Corp. and the Automotive Center of the United States Army on the project.

To date, UPS has invested $15 million in 1,800 alternative fuel fleets in Brazil, Canada, France, Germany and Mexico, which recently recorded more than 100 million miles delivering packages.

The new hydraulic hybrid vehicles operate similarly to hybrid electric vehicles, according to Heather Robinson, a spokesperson for UPS. Instead of using electric motors and batteries, hydraulic vehicles use hydraulic pumps and hydraulic storage tanks to store energy. The project will include two UPS truck prototypes, which will be tested later this year in Detroit.

“In the 1980s, UPS converted diesel and gas trucks to use compressed natural gas. In 2004, we added two hydrogen fuel cell vehicles,” Ms. Robinson said. Fifty hybrid electric vehicles will be added to the fleet by 2008.

In addition to alternative fuel vehicles, there are 8,000 low-emissions vehicles in UPS’ fleet, and the company plans to add 4,300 more by the end of this year.

UPS began using alternative fuel vehicles in New York in the 1930s.

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