UPS (United Parcel Service) is probably best known for it’s iconic Brown color and former marketing slogan, “What can Brown do for you?” Yesterday, however, UPS made an announcement that indicates a shifting company focus on being more green. The company has entered into a deal with Electric Vehicles International to purchase 100 electric trucks to be used on routes in California, USA.

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The new electric vans will be painted the iconic brown that is used for the rest UPS’ fleet of over 70,000 vehicles. Estimated to run 90 miles on a single charge, the vehicles should have more than enough power to complete a daily route in California. Drivers will return the vehicles to UPS’ facilities each evening for recharging. UPS has a history of the length of each route and thereby no concerns for loss of power during a driver’s shift.

Despite taking advantage of financial incentives for green initiatives totaling over $7 million, each van will cost “north of $100,000.” UPS admits that the vehicles are not “cost effective” at this point in time, but they hope to pave the way for more electric vehicle usage. The company has been testing the use of alternate energy vehicles over the last three years; some electric vehicles are already in use for UPS operations in New York, USA and parts of Europe.

So, what do you think? Will more companies follow the path of UPS and begin to add electric-powdered vehicles to their fleets? Or, is the cost of being “green” still too high?

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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