The New, Efficient, Green (and Plastic) UPS Truck

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Plastic doesn't usually seem like a means to a "greener" product--but as GOOD points out in a recent post, it could help UPS save millions of gallons of fuel annually. The delivery service is testing five plastic trucks on some of its most demanding routes (think Arizona, freezing-cold upstate New York, etc.) and will incorporate plastic trucks into its permanent fleet if the experiment is a success:

Plastic. We don't want it in our oceans or our landfills, but it might be exactly what we need in our delivery trucks.

UPS has more than 70,000 vehicles on the road, so gains in fuel efficiency can save the company a lot of money—and reduce carbon emissions for the rest of us. Their latest experiment is a prototype CV-23 truck, which has body panels made of ABS plastic instead of sheet aluminum. That means it's about 1,000 lbs lighter than a standard truck and can run on a smaller engine. The upshot? It's 40 percent more fuel efficient. The folks at Triple Pundit estimate it gets more than 14 miles per gallon, which might not sound like a lot, but could save around 84 million gallons of fuel annually.

Read the full story at GOOD.

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Daniel Fromson, a former associate editor at The Atlantic, is a writer based in Washington, D.C. He writes regularly for The Washington Post. His work has also appeared in Harper's Magazine, New York, and Slate.

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