UPS just announced an innovative field testing project which will put new composite vehicle prototypes to the test in five extreme locations to see if they can withstand the pressure of some of the roughest back roads in the country and serious winter weather conditions while delivering greater fuel efficiency. This initiative is part of UPS’s larger “rolling laboratory” approach to R&D and sustainability, testing the environmental benefits of multiple technologies and designs rather than committing to just one. 

Composite car

The composite car is a joint venture between Utilimaster & Isuzu to produce five prototype high-strength, light-weight composite vehicles, which have high-efficiency 4-cylinder engines. UPS will provide the proving grounds for this new technology. 

Five extreme locations

UPS has chosen five extreme locations for field testing from April 2011 to December 2011 to determine the composite vehicles’ ability to handle all types of weather conditions on the most demanding routes in its U.S. network. Locations include: 

• Albany, New York: tough winter conditions 
• Flint, Michigan: long urban route near Isuzu headquarters 
• Lincoln, Nebraska: rough country back roads 
• Roswell, Georgia: urban route near UPS’s automotive team 
• Tuscon, Arizona: severe heat of the desert 


For a composite vehicle fact sheet, interactive infographic, photos and video, please see