Delivery giant United Parcel Service Inc. announced last week that it would invest another $70 million in order to add 1,000 propane-powered delivery trucks to its fleet.
The trucks, which can travel up to 200 miles on a tank of propane, will replace gasoline- and diesel-powered trucks used primarily in rural areas in Louisiana and Oklahoma, UPS said. Other states are pending.
The vehicles will hit the road by the middle of the year and operations will be completed by early next year, the Atlanta company said.
UPS said it worked with the Propane Education & Research Council, a nonprofit propane technology incubator, to secure the necessary regulatory certifications.
The company had tested 20 such trucks last winter in Georgia before announcing it would expand its fleet. UPS said the new trucks are expected to travel more than 25 million miles and will displace 3.5 million gallons of gasoline and diesel per year.
"The opportunity to road test new propane vehicles and fueling equipment with one of the most sophisticated fleets in the country is a major milestone for the propane industry," said Roy Willis, chief executive of the Propane Education & Research Council.
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