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UPS addresses EV range issues with hybrid “REEV” in UK

UPS has introduced a new hybrid electric vehicle (EV) in the UK which will allow it to cover both urban and long-distance routes.

Developed with EV specialists TEVVA and partly funded by the UK government, the range-extended electric vehicles (REEVs) use a combination of technologies to offer the same capacity and range as traditional diesel vehicles with fewer emissions.

Using geofencing technology, the vehicle will automatically switch to pure electric mode when entering predetermined boundaries such as urban areas of clean air zones.

The REEVs include a range extender which uses a smaller and more efficient diesel engine to recharge batteries when on motorways connecting towns or cities or when travelling back to the UPS depot.

Typical 7.5 tonne EVs have a range of 100km, whereas this extends the range to 300km. It has a cubic capacity of 23 square metres.

The 15 vehicles will operate in UPS’s Birmingham and Southampton fleets.

Luke Wake, director of automotive engineering & advanced technology, UPS International, said: “This is a big breakthrough for our continued use of electric vehicles in the UK – and for the communities we serve.

“The range jump from 100km to 400km is the result of UPS’s latest collaboration with TEVVA. We can serve our customers with lower emission, alternatively-fuelled vehicles in places beyond the reach of existing pure electric vehicles at this weight class.

“Since 2009, UPS has invested more than $1 billion in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and fueling stations globally. But news like this really brings home the evolution of our rolling laboratory – you can now actually see progress like this out on the roads in and out of Birmingham and Southampton.”

Richard Lidstone-Scott, commercial director, TEVVA Motors, said: “Commercial vehicles account for 27% of transport related CO2 and 5% of total greenhouse gas emissions on Europe’s roads. EU legislation says that this needs to be cut by 15% by 2025 and 30% by 2030, and Net Zero in the UK by 2050.

“What that means is that the electrification of the medium duty truck sector is inevitable, yet many firms and OEMs are still scratching their heads about how and when to make that happen. At TEVVA we already have viable technology, proven in real-world trials, which can help companies like UPS reduce emissions to almost zero without compromising their business-critical ability to carry full payloads. What’s more, we’re already working on new technologies to make our solution more efficient still.”