United Parcel Service plans to add 48heavy0-duty trucks powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) to its ground operations on the U.S. West Coast; an investment partially paid for with grant money from the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Clean Cities program and the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s LNG Corridor Expansion Project.

The purchase includes 48 LNG trucks, 38 of which will be deployed in Las Vegas with the remainder based in Ontario, CA, with all of the vehicles operating on routes between those two cities. Part of that purchase includes the building of publically-accessible LNG fueling stations in Las Vegas, UPS said.

The company expects the vehicles, which have a 600-mile operating range with no route restrictions, to produce 25% fewer greenhouse gas emissions and displace 95% of fuel used by conventional diesel vehicles.

Once deployed, those trucks will increase UPS’s total alternative fuel fleet size to 1,914 vehicles, with some 1,100 of them fueled by either LNG or compressed natural gas (CNG).

“Investment in a fuel-efficient technology that helps reduce our carbon footprint and reduce our dependence on petroleum remains a key component of UPS's transport strategy,” said Mike Britt, director of vehicle engineering at UPS. “For our heavy-duty vehicles, LNG has proved successful in reducing emissions, keeping our maintenance and operating costs low and significantly reducing our dependence on petroleum for these shipping lanes.”

The new trucks will be powered by the Westport HD System GX 15-liter engine with proprietary Westport fuel injectors, LNG fuel tanks with integrated cryogenic fuel pumps, and associated electronic components.