Report: UPS testing plastic trucks that cut weight by 1,000 pounds [w/video]

Filed under: Etc., Videos

plastic UPS truck

UPS tests composite delivery truck – Click above to watch the video after the jump

UPS is known for its amazing level of efficiency, and that reputation could soon extend to fuel savings thanks to a prototype dubbed CV-23. The delivery company has ordered five of these prototypes to be tested through the end of 2011, but this is no ordinary next-generation package hauler.

The CV-23 weighs about a thousand pounds less than the typical UPS truck, thanks to the fact that it is made with composite materials instead of metal. The lightweight materials could help UPS deliver up to 40 percent better fuel economy than the current UPS fleet truck. Those kinds of fuel economy gains can pay huge dividends in rural areas where trucks are required to drive large distances. And since the body panels are plastic, bumpers, panels and other parts can be replaced easily.

Hit the jump to watch video of the CV-23 as it is tested by UPS management. If the company is sufficiently impressed, the guys and gals in brown could order more trucks, potentially saving 84 million gallons of fuel per year. We’re guessing drivers will want to see some crash test data before seeing what brown plastic can do for them, but otherwise, this seems like a pretty good idea.

Continue reading UPS testing plastic trucks that cut weight by 1,000 pounds [w/video]

UPS testing plastic trucks that cut weight by 1,000 pounds [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 31 May 2011 16:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Plastic Fantastic: Are composite engines the future?

Filed under: Aftermarket, Technology, Ford

plastic engineFlorida engineer Matti Holtzberg has spent the last 40 years trying to perfect and implement a way of building useable engine blocks from composite plastics. With the advent of carbon fiber and its subsequent permeation of all things high-performance, Holtzberg decided to apply the technology to his composite engine idea.

Armed with a vast base of research and immense skill, Holtzberg retooled his operation to mold carbon composite engine blocks, with an eye toward selling them to racing teams. Holtzberg’s blocks are based on the venerable 2.0-liter Duratec mill that sees duty in the Ford Focus.

Holtzberg’s carbon-fiber block has the potential to save more than 20 pounds over the aluminum equivalent, but at an enormous cost. There’s no definite word on pricing just yet, but it should be at least $2,500 per pound saved, which pretty well limits the technology to race teams… for now.

The technology could make huge leaps forward in weight saving and fuel economy should it ever hit the streets, but don’t figure on that happening for quite a while.

Plastic Fantastic: Are composite engines the future? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 10 May 2011 14:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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