ATLANTA – United Parcel Service (UPS) has placed an order for 50 new-generation hybrid electric delivery trucks, and they will also acquire 4,100 low-emission conventional vehicles during 2006, according to the Web site The hybrid-electric vehicles (HEV) are being purchased in two sizes from International Truck and Engine and Freightliner LLC. The trucks will feature lithium ion batteries that are capable of faster re-charging and have a longer life than batteries used in previous generations of HEVs. The external truck bodies will be identical to the signature-brown trucks that now comprise the UPS fleet. The first of the 50 HEVs will be deployed in Dallas this June and will join more than 10,000 low-emission and alternative-fuel vehicles already in use. The UPS alternative fuel fleet — at 1,500 vehicles — currently includes trucks powered by compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, propane, electricity, and hydrogen. The 50 HEV delivery trucks collectively are expected to reduce fuel consumption by about 44,000 gallons over the course of a year compared to a normal diesel truck. The hybrids also should reduce by 457 metric tons the amount of CO2 gases released into the atmosphere over the course of a year. The 4,100 low-emission vehicles offer a 15-percent improvement in fuel economy, saving roughly 1.5 million gallons of fuel over the course of a year.