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UPS CV-23 prototype (built by Isuzu/Utilimaster)  (Source: UPS)
"What can green... err brown do for you?"

When much of your operating expenses include fuel to power your delivery vehicles, achieving the maximum fuel economy is always a mission that UPS takes very seriously. The company in the past has looked to hybrid technology that paired an electric motor and batteries with a traditional turbodiesel engine.

This time around, however, UPS is going a much simpler route with a prototype CV-23 delivery truck that is 1,000 pounds lighter than its conventional P70 counterpart according to Jalopnik (the P70 weighs roughly 10,000 pounds). The huge weight savings has plenty of benefits when it comes to fuel efficiency.

First off, UPS is able to use a smaller, 150hp four-cylinder turbodiesel engine that is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission to achieve the same performance as conventional steel-bodied trucks (the P70 uses a 200hp engine according to GreenBiz). Secondly, the reduced weight and smaller engine means that fuel efficiency jumps a whopping 40 percent compared to the P70. UPS reckons that it will save about 84 million gallons of fuel annually as a result.

So how exactly did UPS manage a 1,000-pound weight savings? Utilimaster and Isuzu developed composite body panels that already include UPS’ iconic brown color molded into the plastic, therefore toxic paint isn’t required.

Other new features include LEDs for all exterior lightning (with the exception of the headlights), plastic lower body moldings that are cheaper and easier to repair/replace than steel. 

This "green love fest" isn't without its downsides, however. The CV-23 prototype only has 630 cu ft of cargo space compared to a more generous 700 cu ft for the P70. 

UPS is currently testing its new CV-23 prototypes in Lincoln, Nebraska; Albany, NY; Tucson, AZ; Flint, MI; and Roswell Georgia.



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Good
By icanhascpu on 6/1/2011 7:02:15 AM , Rating: 2
Good to see this. Hope more huge consumers of gas do this to help the supply for all.




RE: Good
By FITCamaro on 6/1/2011 7:38:45 AM , Rating: 5
This has nothing to do with caring about saving gas. It has to do with saving money. All they see is green. As in dollar signs.

The fact that it makes them look environmentally friendly is just an added bonus. The same goes for any other company with "green" initiatives.


RE: Good
By retrospooty on 6/1/2011 8:15:39 AM , Rating: 4
both good reasons, so who cares. All in all its a good thing, regardless of the motivation. I wish more companies would do this.


RE: Good
By Thalyn on 6/1/2011 11:15:44 PM , Rating: 2
If going green meant saving money, you can bet your ass that more companies would be doing it. And not just companies - but the average consumer as well. Who in their right mind wouldn't want to save money, after all?

Let's face it... going green is all well and good, but it'll be the bottom line which either stimulates or halts the transition.


RE: Good
By SunTzu on 6/2/2011 7:47:42 AM , Rating: 2
Your operating under the faulty assumption that every CEO knows what's best for his company. Alot of people, and companies, make bad decisions.


RE: Good
By ddownes on 6/2/2011 1:50:10 AM , Rating: 2
It's akin to becoming an MD for the wages and title rather than wanting to save lives. Who cares why they're doing it, as long as they do their job well.


RE: Good
By Wiggy Mcshades on 6/2/2011 11:49:00 AM , Rating: 2
I dare you to try to find someone who doesn't actually want to do a job and at the same time does that job well. The only type of person more difficult to find at that point would be the ones who actually want to do their job.


RE: Good
By LumbergTech on 6/1/2011 9:17:10 AM , Rating: 2
Who cares why they do it? If it is more efficient/saves them money and is better for our planet then why should we bitch and complain? It is a great thing and its the most ideal situation possible when a company can benefit from doing a good thing.


RE: Good
By FITCamaro on 6/1/2011 10:44:28 AM , Rating: 2
Who's bitching. I was pointing out that companies "going green" are doing it when it makes financial sense. They don't give a crap about "saving the planet". They care about their bottom line. As they should.


RE: Good
By bernardl on 6/1/2011 8:08:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I was pointing out that companies "going green" are doing it when it makes financial sense. They don't give a crap about "saving the planet". They care about their bottom line. As they should.


What if I, as a customer, decided to use UPS instead of Fedex because I like UPS's green policy?

What if the executives of UPS had the impression that many people are like me.

Would that not be a possible reason why they might want to become more eco friendly?

Cheers,
Bernard


RE: Good
By Schrag4 on 6/2/2011 1:02:15 PM , Rating: 2
It still comes down to a financial decision. If the projected revenue from customers who switch to UPS for the sake of going green is less than the cost of going green they wouldn't do it.


RE: Good
By kattanna on 6/1/2011 10:56:26 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
and is better for our planet


are you sure about that?

the old trucks were made with metal, which can be recycled. all those plastic parts.. not so much. also what about the composite panels? composite materials usually are much harder to recycle, if even possible currently.

so just because something saves on gas upfront, it does not mean in total it is friendlier to the planet.

and FIT is right, this is ALL about saving money. PERIOD. dont believe for a second that if this didnt save them money they would pursue it. Now while there is nothing wrong with that, giving someone/something "green" accolades and to feel "good" about them "doing the right thing" when that is not their intention makes you look foolish and gullible.


RE: Good
By LumbergTech on 6/1/11, Rating: -1
RE: Good
By Kurz on 6/1/2011 1:50:46 PM , Rating: 2
Gullible and foolish? Sorry for setting someone straight about the reasons why companies like UPS are changing their business model.

Almost every advancement in technology has always adobted by the market because it makes financial sense. The general population doesnt care nearly as much for the environment as you do. Nor should they.


RE: Good
By ender21 on 6/1/11, Rating: 0
RE: Good
By Spuke on 6/1/2011 3:22:24 PM , Rating: 4
He didn't say shouldn't, he said doesn't. What's hard to understand is how buying more stuff shows you care about the environment. If you care, buy less stuff, take care of what you have. Buy used cars, used clothes, used homes. If you want to go solar or wind, buy used one's off of Craigslist or ebay. Less impact.

IMO, I don't think it's about caring for the environment, I think it's about LOOKING like you care. Else, there wouldn't be so many arguments about what people drive. What you drive is only part of the story and a small part at that. I still see a 1000 kWh per MONTH average (LOL!) energy usage for the typical American family so as far as I'm concerned, all of this so-called "care" is just a lot of hot air.


RE: Good
By YashBudini on 6/1/2011 6:45:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
He didn't say shouldn't, he said doesn't.

Actually he said both

quote:
The general population doesnt care nearly as much for the environment as you do. Nor should they.


quote:
I think it's about LOOKING like you care.

In reality they are saying they don't know what to do and require guidance. Or it implies they never have the time or desire to actually think about it.

Also if people shouldn't care at all, as initially implied, that means someone else will make the decision for you. Who will that be? Government? The corporations trying to churn a profit?

quote:
all of this so-called "care" is just a lot of hot air.

Well don't just sit there man, pipe it into a heat exchanger or blow it against some thermocouples.


RE: Good
By Kurz on 6/1/2011 9:47:57 PM , Rating: 2
Nope I didn't say shouldn't, I merely was explaining why should everyone care as much for the environment as he does.

I care about the environment though I place Human needs/desires over that of the planet. If there is a win/win situation I don't see the problem with it.


RE: Good
By YashBudini on 6/2/2011 12:45:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I didn't say shouldn't

quote:
The general population doesnt care nearly as much for the environment as you do. Nor should they .

Nor should they = shouldn't.


RE: Good
By Reclaimer77 on 6/1/2011 2:32:05 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention "going green" get's you tons of government kickbacks, errr I mean "incentives" and "subsidies".


RE: Good
By ender21 on 6/1/2011 2:38:57 PM , Rating: 1
So does buying an H2. Or have those "subsidies" upwards of $15K expired?


RE: Good
By Spuke on 6/1/2011 3:42:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So does buying an H2. Or have those "subsidies" upwards of $15K expired?
There a was government subsidy for H2's?


RE: Good
By cdwilliams1 on 6/1/2011 3:48:04 PM , Rating: 2
There was a government subsidy for work/commercial vehicles. It was intended to help farmers and construction crews purchase new vehicles and get the economy going again after the first bush recession in 2002. The classification between consumer and commercial vehicles was determined only by weight alone. It was a poorly worded bill. The hummer, suburban, and excursion were all so heavy they counted as commercial under this tax code and therefore got an $8k-$15k tax credit.


RE: Good
By Spuke on 6/1/2011 3:52:15 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, I remember that. People were buying SUV's and trucks like crazy back then too. Why not? It was $15k cheaper. I hated SUV's back then and even considered getting a Suburban.


RE: Good
By Reclaimer77 on 6/1/2011 3:48:40 PM , Rating: 2
No there wasn't. Ender is stupidly obsessed with H2's for some reason. That's like the fifth time today I've seen him try to tie the H2 into some ridiculous argument.

Look out Ender!!! THE H2's ARE COMING! RUNNNNNNNNN


RE: Good
By SunTzu on 6/2/2011 7:49:40 AM , Rating: 2
Think twice before posting please, everything he said was correct.


RE: Good
By Reclaimer77 on 6/2/2011 11:51:59 AM , Rating: 2
That wasn't a subsidy to buy an "H2". As someone pointed out there was a subsidy for entire classes of vehicles, and the H2 happened to fall into that. So no, he's not correct. He's deliberately narrowing down the facts to make a one sided emotional argument.

And I'm against subsidies of all kinds. But his argument is a straw man. Throwing up an SUV subsidy when I speak out against an EV subsidy is a straw man and generally a poor debate tactic. Being against one doesn't inversely mean you are for the other. Especially when presented in such a hostile accusatory tone.


RE: Good
By icanhascpu on 6/1/2011 2:44:25 PM , Rating: 1
I didn't say anything about them caring about saving for gas sake. LOL? I said I hope more huge consumers of gas do this. DONT YOU?


RE: Good
By BZDTemp on 6/1/2011 5:55:39 PM , Rating: 2
Not exactly. Look at a company like Maersk.

They are saving fuel by smart ship design and smart speed decisions but they are also running cleaner fuel when close to population centers which cost them money (so much they would be uncompetitive if they did it all the time). You may of course argue that what the clean fuel cost them is a marketing investment which will benefit them in other ways, but considering their customers are companies and not consumers then your argument does not hold.

Simply saying no company cares is wrong (after all companies are run by humans).


RE: Good
By Wiggy Mcshades on 6/2/2011 12:00:50 PM , Rating: 2
Prove to me humans can care.


RE: Good
By Skywalker123 on 6/2/2011 9:18:27 PM , Rating: 2
ooh, someones Mommy didn't wuv him!


RE: Good
By nxjwfgwe on 6/3/2011 7:51:15 AM , Rating: 1
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RE: Good
By Kurz on 6/1/2011 7:55:43 AM , Rating: 3
Being more efficient is only possible if economics make sense.
Hence most people don't put solar panels or Wind turbines on their home, Economics dont make sense.

They only thing you should be hoping for is more advancements in tech and cheaper prices.


RE: Good
By ender21 on 6/1/2011 2:41:02 PM , Rating: 2
Now that's a comment I can get behind. Economies of scale ultimately drive everything. Automobiles were more efficient when they first came to market, but damned if only a few people could own them due to expense. Same with computers.

Thus some adopters, those passionate or wealthy enough, perhaps, have to adopt early enough for such economies of scale to come to fruition. Otherwise it's just a catch-22. I won't buy if it isn't cheap. It isn't cheap because no one's buying.


Apples to Apples
By Madlyb on 6/1/2011 7:20:46 AM , Rating: 2
If it does not have the same capacity as the P70, then it shouldn't be compared directly. Anyone can improve efficiency by reducing payload.

It is still an admirable effort, though not sure what I think of all the rubber on the edges...P70 by Fisher Price maybe?




RE: Apples to Apples
By bleekii on 6/1/2011 7:47:37 AM , Rating: 5
10% less cargo
40% less fuel

Unless I'm doing my math wrong. That's still 26% increase in efficiency per foot^3.

Also, not every truck will use that extra 70 cubic feet.


RE: Apples to Apples
By jabber on 6/1/2011 8:29:58 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah I bet most vans only go out 50% full on odd occasions.

Otherwise it would take ages to full up every van to capacity.

When I see in a UPS van its only ever got a few boxes laying on the floor. They are not removal trucks.

I doubt the reduction in size will be noticed at all. In fact I bet they could go half the size for much of their fleet.


RE: Apples to Apples
By RjBass on 6/1/2011 9:09:16 AM , Rating: 2
While that may be normal for most of the year, in my area the trucks also have trailers with more packages during the holiday season. They have the trailers because their trucks are full to capacity.


RE: Apples to Apples
By jabber on 6/1/2011 9:24:29 AM , Rating: 2
So the trailer option is more efficient for the 7 days or so a year its needed and the 358 it isnt.

Sounds a sensible solution.


RE: Apples to Apples
By bah12 on 6/1/2011 9:35:18 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed, you don't plan to your capacity to peak times, you adapt to them. In any event UPS is a very smart company with boatloads of data, so I'm sure they've come to the conclusion that the extra capacity is going unused enough of the time to justify lowering it.


RE: Apples to Apples
By YashBudini on 6/1/2011 6:52:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yeah I bet most vans only go out 50% full on odd occasions.

700 to 630 CF represent a 10% drop. Odd of making a 90% capacity rub are far higher than the 50% you addressed.

quote:
Otherwise it would take ages to full up every van to capacity.

I doubt it when your manager is standing behind you with a stopwatch.

Yes the trucks may be half full on some rural runs, but you can bet they are maxed out in highly populated areas.


RE: Apples to Apples
By jabber on 6/1/2011 7:07:15 PM , Rating: 2
If it was an issue for UPS they would be the same size.

They have crunched the numbers many times I'm sure. The size obviously isnt an issue.


RE: Apples to Apples
By YashBudini on 6/2/2011 12:47:35 AM , Rating: 2
If anything UPS is brutally efficient.


RE: Apples to Apples
By jabber on 6/2/2011 11:31:15 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah its kind of scary when being a mega corp with its scale of economics, if you manage to cut 2 cents off something it could mean a $20 million saving.

For my firm it would mean a $1 saving maybe.

Now that kind of depresses me. Must try harder.


RE: Apples to Apples
By Mitch101 on 6/1/2011 10:33:50 AM , Rating: 2
Too bad there isn't a reduced price in shipping as a result.


RE: Apples to Apples
By Kurz on 6/1/2011 1:52:01 PM , Rating: 2
There will be when Fedex does the same thing.


RE: Apples to Apples
By YashBudini on 6/1/2011 6:54:07 PM , Rating: 2
Be happy if it delays a price increase.


RE: Apples to Apples
By kattanna on 6/1/2011 10:57:47 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
P70 by Fisher Price maybe


LOL yeah.. my first thoughts on seeing it were "how kid friendly" it looks


Fuel Surcharge
By EricMartello on 6/1/2011 12:55:25 PM , Rating: 2
They may be saving fuel but I bet you their "fuel surcharge" isn't going anywhere. UPS seems to not understand that fuel is the cost of them doing business which should be included in the standard shipping rate. But no, they would rather have this fuel surcharge which they tack onto every shipment so they can appear to have lower rates. The USPS is almost always the better way to ship.




RE: Fuel Surcharge
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 6/1/2011 5:28:06 PM , Rating: 2
Yea but if you need something delivered quickly and the ability to track it, UPS/FEDEX are your options. The USPS' tracking system is a joke of epic proportions.


RE: Fuel Surcharge
By YashBudini on 6/1/2011 6:57:36 PM , Rating: 2
?? Tracking is available on Priority Mail, it might be standard on Express packages. It cost me 65 cents last time I used it,


RE: Fuel Surcharge
By EricMartello on 6/3/2011 6:29:19 AM , Rating: 2
Who needs tracking when you get your package in 2-3 days anywhere within the USA including no extra charge for saturday delivery? Go and and ship by UPS/Fedex ground. About the same price as priority mail at roughly half the speed.


Albany?
By Omega215D on 6/1/2011 7:26:42 AM , Rating: 2
Wouldn't it make sense to test this out in NYC where traffic and road conditions can be ridiculous to see how well something like this would hold up?

Though I am gonna miss the sounds of the old UPS trucks. It lets me know that my Newegg order has arrived!




RE: Albany?
By FITCamaro on 6/1/2011 7:41:02 AM , Rating: 2
Would a horn that plays the mexican hat dance be an acceptable replacement?


RE: Albany?
By Spuke on 6/1/2011 2:07:25 PM , Rating: 2
I was thinking Guantanamera but that will do.


toxic paint - has real heavy metal in it
By Owik2008 on 6/1/2011 9:10:30 AM , Rating: 1
"So how exactly did UPS manage a 1,000-pound weight savings? Utilimaster and Isuzu developed composite body panels that already include UPS’ iconic brown color molded into the plastic, therefore toxic paint isn’t required."

So apparently they just had to remove the paint... which was toxic... Please guys, read through your articles before publishing them! I'm terrible at the English language and I am seeing these mistakes! If you need a good copywriter I can direct you to a few! :)




By rbuszka on 6/1/2011 1:24:19 PM , Rating: 3
The resin that is used in manufacturing composite panels is worse for the environment than the paint, because the resin contains volatile organic compounds (VOC's), which are carcinogenic and are regulated in many areas. There are some resin formulations that have reduced or eliminated VOC content, but those are more expensive to use, and I'd bet that UPS isn't using them. Being able to do away with paint isn't the motivation; it's being able to do away with the weight of the sheet steel panels.

One thing I notice about the new trucks is much lower ground clearance. That means that in some areas they won't be as usable because sometimes the roads aren't plowed for days after a snowfall.


Fisher-Price
By jeepga on 6/1/2011 8:24:14 AM , Rating: 2
Soon the roads are going to look like my daughter's Fisher-Price Little People town.




Cost Savings
By brshoemak on 6/1/2011 11:43:00 AM , Rating: 1
They could also save on fuel costs by not idling their trucks for long when delivering packages. Just shoot the packages out of their truck with an air cannon or something - that's pretty what my packages look like when I get them anyway, so the customer wouldn't notice the difference.




woohoo
By Shadowmaster625 on 6/1/11, Rating: -1
"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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