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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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