UPS is working on the development and deployment of 50 plug-in electric delivery trucks which it claims will be comparable in acquisition cost to conventional fuelled trucks without any subsidies. It claims the move is an industry first that would break a key barrier to large-scale fleet adoption.
The company is working with partner Workhouse Group to develop the vehicles which Carlton Rose, president, global fleet maintenance and engineering for UPS said were offering real opportunity for change. “Electric vehicle technology is rapidly improving with battery, charging and smart grid advances that allow us to specify our delivery vehicles to eliminate emissions, noise and dependence on diesel and gasoline,” he said.
The all-electric trucks will deliver by day and re-charge overnight and are claimed to provide nearly 400% fuel efficiency improvement as well as optimum energy efficiency, vehicle performance and a better driver experience.
Each truck will manage around 100 miles before needed to be recharged and will join UPS’s Rolling Lab, a growing fleet of more than 9,000 alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles.
“This innovation is the result of Workhorse working closely with UPS over the last 4 years refining our electric vehicles with hard-fought lessons from millions of road miles and thousands of packages delivered,” said Steve Burns, CEO of Workhorse Group. “Our goal is to make it easy for UPS and others to go electric by removing prior roadblocks to large-scale acceptance such as cost.”
The vehicles will initially be tested on urban routes in the US – including Atlanta, Dallas and Los Angeles – before fine-tuning the design for a bigger rollout in 2019.
UPS has more than 300 electric vehicles deployed in Europe and the U.S., and nearly 700 hybrid electric vehicles and has the aim of one in four new vehicles purchased by 2020 being an alternative fuel or advanced technology vehicle.
Image credit: UPS