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UPS Composite Car Fact Sheet

UPS tested five CV-23 pilot vehicles from Utilimaster/Isuzu to determine if the vehicles could meet the demands of UPS's operating needs, while producing positive environmental benefits.

Overview of Testing:

  • The testing of these traditionally fueled, alternative design vehicles began in April 2011 and concluded in April 2012.
  • The trucks tested were Utilimaster/Isuzu REACH vehicles with a payload capacity of 630 cubic feet of cargo space compared to 700 cubic feet in the P70.
  • The goal of the testing was to determine if the CV-23 could withstand the rigors of UPS's daily delivery routes while achieving a 40 percent increase in fuel efficiency over the UPS P70 diesel package car. Factors that were tested include: durability, repair qualities, and structural strength.
  • The CV-23 is approximately 900 lbs lighter than the P70 due to the use of composite body panels and other body elements.
  • The 150-horsepower truck utilizes an Isuzu four-cylinder diesel engine and a six-speed Aisin automatic transmission. The engine is smaller than a traditional UPS diesel engine with the goal that the smaller engine will sip less fuel during daily operations.
  • UPS chose five locations to determine the ability of the CV-23 to handle all types of climate conditions. These routes were chosen because they presented varied extremes that UPS vehicles encounter around the country. The deployment areas included:
    • Lincoln, Nebraska – rough back roads
    • Albany, New York – tough winter conditions
    • Tuscon, Arizona – extreme heat of the desert
    • Flint, Michigan – long urban route near Isuzu headquarters
    • Acworth, Georgia – high mileage route and close access for the UPS corporate automotive department

Overview of Results and Next Steps:

  • The test vehicles demonstrated high reliability in all markets and succeeded in achieving a 40 percent increase in fuel efficiency as a result of the advanced powertrain technology, overall vehicle weight reduction and new body aerodynamics.  Ease of repairs, durability and maintenance also proved to be positive.
  • As part of UPS's commitment to growing its alternative fleet and minimizing its environmental impact, UPS now has approximately 400 Isuzu Reach vehicles operating along high mileage routes (as of February 2015).
  • As a result of the testing, UPS has become even more comfortable with composite material and will consider adding more composite components into larger vehicle types to reduce vehicle weight.

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