Green vehicles to gather at Staples

Dan McDonald

From hybrids to fuel cells, converted natural gas to ethanol, the largest automotive collection of alternative fuel fleets for businesses on the East Coast will be on display at the Staples world headquarters next month.

The headquarters, located at 500 Staples Drive, will host the fourth annual AltWheels Fleet Day on Sept. 29.

Melding economic know-how with environmental benefits, cars ranging from an Eaton Hydraulic Launch Assist Class 7 Truck to a Ford F-450 Biodiesel will be shown.

Experts will attend to discuss some of the more innovative energy conservation techniques. Scheduled panel discussions include idling technologies, federal and state mandates and incentives, and solutions for municipal or commercial fleets.

"Obviously transportation costs are going up," said Jeremy Marin, spokesman for event organizer AltWheels. "These are some of the best practices going on around the country."

Shipping giant UPS, for example, has saved tens of thousands of dollars through mapping out routes using only taking right-hand turns, said Marin, spokesman for AltWheels. By avoiding idling while waiting to take a left-hand turn, fuel was conserved, said Marin.

Marin noted there will be "one or two" prototype vehicles on display, while the majority of vehicles present are already on the road.

For Staples part, the office supply giant has committed to reduce its carbon emissions by 7 percent between 2001 to 2010. The company has reduced the speed of its delivery trucks, reconfiguring the vehicles so they cannot exceed 60 mph.

That measure alone has improved fuel efficiency by 15 percent, said Mike Black, company spokesman.

In addition the company is "working with many of our large customers to consolidate orders," he said.

Dan McDonald can be reached at 508-626-4416 or at