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There’s Electricity on the Road! UPS Deploys 200 Hybrid-Electric Vehicles

With the announcement of 200 new Hybrid-Electric Vehicles, or “HEVs” being deployed this month in eight major U.S. cities, I felt I should write something about it for The Upside. However, when I put my fingers to the keys, I realized the best voices for this entry would be those involved in putting these vehicles on the road.  

So, rather than wax poetic, I sat down with UPS Vehicle Deployment Manager Donna Tisdale for a question and answer chat.


 Here’s what she had to say:

Q: Donna, tell us about the recent deployment of 200 HEVs to UPS’s green fleet.

A: We are adding 200 HEVs to our green fleet with this deployment.  These trucks will join the 50 HEVs already on the roads for UPS. 

Q: Where are the vehicles being deployed? And if you don’t mind, why and how were these locations chosen?

A:  In addition to air quality, we examine the routes in a city to ensure that they will be used in the most efficient manner. Interstate routes, rural routes or routes that have very little stop and go don’t work well with the hybrid vehicles.  We selected the cities that have the most optimal conditions for operating the hybrids.

There will be 25 in Houston, 30 in Austin, 17 in Washington, D.C., 13 in Minneapolis, 20 in Louisville, Kentucky, 50 in Philadelphia, 20 in Chicago and 25 in Long Island, New York.

Q: I’m curious. What makes Long Island better suited for a hybrid vehicle than Manhattan?

A: We’ve found that hybrids work best on heavy stop and go routes…the engine is most efficient that way.  In Manhattan, our vehicles typically spend several hours at one stop because of the high-rise commercial nature of Manhattan.  So they end up making a stop….the truck is parked for a few hours while the driver makes the deliveries…then it may move a block or two and so on and so on….

On average, our drivers make a typical commercial stop averages just under 1 and a half minutes….but the time that our drivers spend in urban or high rise commercial stops can be much longer because of the number of stops in that one location.

Q: What types of routes make sense for a hybrid vehicle? Heavy commercial? Residential? Rural vs. urban? Highway?

A: Hybrids work best in heavy stop and go situations…so urban and suburban routes work really well.  Hybrids should be used as little as possible on interstate-type driving because you don’t get the benefit of the engine.  The HEV engine is most effective and efficient when in heavy stop and go application. 

Q: Do the drivers participate in special training for these vehicles?

A: The drivers get about 2 hours of training on the vehicle…mostly through an instructional DVD.  Our mechanics also receive training…about 8 hours.



Thanks for your time, Donna. 

Category: Sustainability, UPS News
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    Comments [1]

  1. My name is Jimmy and I am a freelance journalist (Twitter JGVasquez222). I saw this company while bloging call Keencell. Apparently they makes these fast charge batteries for cell phones,portable games, power tools and electric vehicles that charges in about 5-15 minutes. I got curious and contacted them. Apparently, they are developing a product for residential fast charging of electric vehicles in under 30 minutes.Thought I’d share that with the community.

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