UPS hits 1 billion mile mark with alternative fuels

John G Smith

ATLANTA, GA – UPS has officially covered 1 billion miles (1.6 billion kilometers) with a “rolling lab” of 7,200 vehicles powered by alternative fuels such as natural gas and propane — and reached the goal a year earlier than planned.

(UPS Photo)“We had a big sustainability goal as we set out to make the most of our rolling laboratory by driving 1 billion clean miles in alternative fuel vehicles – that’s the equivalent of well over 4,000 trips to the moon,” said David Abney, Chairman and CEO, UPS. “While attaining this goal is new, our commitment to seeking out alternative fuels actually dates back to the 1930s when UPS tested electric vehicles. With more than 100,000 drivers logging more than 3 billion miles per year, our future depends on our ability to meet the growing demand for global trade while reducing our impact on the environment.”

News of reaching the billion-mile target, established in 2012, was announced with the release of the company’s 14th annual Sustainability Report

About 12% of the conventional diesel and gasoline previously used by the UPS ground fleet is now being replaced by alternative fuels including renewable natural gas and renewable diesel.

“The question wasn’t should we make alternative fuels work?” said Mike Whitlatch, UPS’s vice president of global energy and procurement. “Instead, it was ‘What’s the best way to make alternative fuels work for UPS, and for the environment?'”

 “Many congested cities around the world are implementing zero tailpipe emissions zones, and UPS is keeping ahead of the curve by investing in advanced technologies and creating the commercial delivery fleet of the future,” said Abney. 

By the end of 2016, UPS will have invested more than US $750 million (about CDN $990 million) in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and fueling stations globally since 2009.


John G Smith

John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking,, TruckTech, Transport Routier, Inside Logistics, Solid Waste & Recycling, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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