UPDATE 2-UPS to buy 1,000 propane-fueled delivery trucks for U.S. fleet

Wed Mar 5, 2014 12:49pm EST
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* Biggest purchase yet of propane vehicles

* U.S. propane output at all-time high

* Concerns have arisen about propane supply network

March 5 (Reuters) - United Parcel Service Inc is spending $70 million to add 1,000 propane trucks to its delivery fleet, the biggest bulk purchase of propane-fired vehicles yet as output of the fuel in the United States hits record highs.

The fleet, which UPS is buying from Daimler AG's Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp, will replace gasoline and diesel vehicles in Louisiana and Oklahoma, UPS said in a statement on Wednesday. The investment will include 50 new fueling stations.

The transition is expected to begin in the middle of this year and be completed early next year, UPS said. It also plans to introduce propane-fueled vehicles in other U.S. states.

The fleet, which adds to 900 propane trucks the courier company already runs in Canada, is expected to displace about 3.5 million gallons of gasoline and diesel per year, UPS said.

UPS, known for its brown delivery trucks, already has a fleet of about 3,150 alternative-fuel vehicles running on compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, biomethane and electricity.

Propane is "a clean-burning fuel that lowers operating costs and is readily accessible, especially on rural routes in the United States," said UPS Chief Operating Officer David Abney.   Continued...