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UPS: Brown trucks go green

A hybrid UPS truck

A hybrid UPS truck Photo Credit: UPS

A couple of dozen new hybrid electric UPS trucks are making their debut Thursday on Long Island.

Though the new brown panel trucks look like other UPS vehicles, they are expected to be quieter. They’re also environmentally more responsible – because they’re powered by electric batteries and compressed natural gas, UPS says.

The 25 new hybrids use a Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. body and a hybrid power system from Eaton Corp. As of this week the company should have 250 such trucks in use nationwide.

The power system consists of a conventional diesel engine combined with a lithium-ion battery pack, saving fuel and reducing pollution-causing emissions.

The diesel engine is used to recharge the battery pack and to add power when necessary, UPS says.

The vehicles use “regenerative braking,” UPS says, explaining that “the energy generated from applying the brakes is captured and returned to the battery as electricity.”

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