UPS announced on September 27 the U.S. deployment of its first three large package delivery vehicles using hydrogen fuel cells for power. Chris Mahoney, UPS senior vice president of global transportation services, made his remarks at a press conference in Los Angeles where the first fuel cell Dodge Sprinter is being deployed. He was joined by representatives from DaimlerChrysler, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Energy and the state of California. The remaining two Sprinters will be deployed in Sacramento, CA and Ann Arbor, MI "Shifting away from a fossil fuel based economy to a hydrogen economy would be a great environmental and technological achievement," said Mahoney, adding "UPS now is jumping from a small fuel cell car to a medium-duty truck. We will continue the rapid application of this technology in hopes that in the near future, we can deploy zero-emission engines across our fleet of 88,000 vehicles." In May 2003, UPS, EPA and DaimlerChrysler announced a collaborative project to advance the state of hydrogen fuel cells by harnessing the technology to power the first commercial delivery fleet in North America; and starting in March 2004, DaimlerChrysler provided an "F-Cell," a fuel cell-powered Mercedes-Benz A-Class car. DaimlerChrysler and UPS concurrently began testing a medium-duty vehicle in Germany. Compared to the first Sprinter, the new fuel cell Sprinters feature a 20 percent increase in powertrain efficiency; a 40 percent increase in range to 155 miles, and a 45 percent increase in peak engine power, with acceleration similar to a gas- or diesel-powered UPS vehicle. The vehicles in their new configuration also offer a 10 percent increase in cargo capacity compared to the diesel-powered Sprinters now in use by UPS. Customers will be able to recognize the trucks not only because of their signature brown color and UPS logo, but also by special graphics on the sides that feature concentric circles rippling outwards, representing water.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials