Starting in August, DHL Express will fuel 100 pickup and delivery vans in the U.S. with liquid propane autogas.
The alternative fuel will save more than 22,500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year per vehicle, the international express company said Monday.
DHL Express and its parent, Deutsche Post DHL, operate more than 4,000 alternative-fuel vehicles worldwide, including a fleet of 30 battery-powered electric trucks and 50 hybrid vans in Manhattan.
The Ford E-250 cargo vans will be equipped with a ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas fuel system and use existing public propane fueling stations.
The P&D vans will operate in California, Florida, Georgia, Missouri and Texas, DHL Express said. DHL Express already operates propane-powered vehicles in Ohio, Tennessee and Louisiana.
Propane, one of several alternative fuels making headway in transportation, can cut greenhouse gas emissions up to 25 percent, DHL Express said.
Propane-powered vehicles can cut CO2 emissions up to 60 percent, nitrogen oxide output by 20 percent and virtually eliminate particulate emissions.
Propane accounts for about 2 percent of energy usage in the U.S., and less than 2 percent of that amount is burned as a transportation fuel, according to the Department of Energy.
The availability of an existing fuel distribution infrastructure was a key factor in DHL’s decision to use propane as an alternative fuel.
In early April, the national average propane fuel price was $2.91 per gasoline gallon equivalent or GGE, compared with $2.08 per GGE for CNG, according to the DOE.