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Some History of Sustainability with UPS
1936 UPS Electric Package Cars

As the UPS Archivist, I spend a lot of time researching documents that reveal our history and the stories of our people.

So in my search through the UPS Archives – while looking for something else I might add – I came across this document from 1933 asking for the funds for three new “Gould Batteries for two ton Walker Electric Trucks.”  These new batteries were to replace three “very old and almost useless” batteries in package cars that were serving in New York City at the time.

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Alternative Fuel Vehicles – Collect Them All!!!

UPS compressed natural gas delivery vehicleWhen I was a kid, I remember the catch phrase on every action figure package was “Collect Them All!” usually surrounded by blazing star flash. Call it crass marketing, but it made sense to my 7-year-old mind. What could you do with only one toy? I mean, if I needed my G.I. Joes to go on a stealth mission and I only had a medic like Doc or a pilot like Wild Bill, I’d be in a bind! I would want that ninja Snake-Eyes!

Given that my mind’s 7-year-old common sense never had an expiration date, I look out on the world at 32 years old and wonder why a delivery company would limit itself to one type of alternative fuel technology? There are so many to choose from, each with distinct advantages. Who only wants one toy?!

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Brown’s Legacy of Being Green

1936 UPS Electric Package CarsBeginning in the 1930s, UPS used electric package cars on the streets of New York City. Much like the company’s efforts today that seek to minimize impact on the environment, use of these vehicles made a lot of business sense in congested Manhattan. They traveled no more than 20 mph, but they didn’t need to go faster. They could operate in heavy traffic economically since they were battery powered and with little wear and tear. But they also didn’t contribute to the city’s pollution. So it was a shared bottom line – good for UPS, and good for the environment. The electric package cars were still in use in Manhattan in the early 1960s. 

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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.

 

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