Print 60 comment(s) - last by nxjwfgwe.. on Jun 3 at 7:51 AM

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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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
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.

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.

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