UPS to adopt zero emission alternative

International package delivery and supply chain management company, UPS, has said it will deploy 50 plug-in electric delivery trucks that will be comparable in acquisition cost to conventional-fueled rigids without any subsidies.

UPS is collaborating with US-based manufacturing company, Workhorse Group, to design the vehicles ‘from the ground up’, with zero tailpipe emissions.

“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,” said UPS President – Global Fleet Maintenance and Engineering, Carlton Rose.

“With our scale and real-world duty cycles, these new electric trucks will be a quantum leap forward for the purpose-built UPS delivery fleet. The all-electric trucks will deliver by day and re-charge overnight. We are uniquely positioned to work with our partners, communities and customers to transform freight transportation,” he said.

According to Workhorse, these vehicles provide a fuel efficiency improvement of nearly 400 per cent as well as optimum energy efficiency, vehicle performance and a better driver experience. Each truck will have a range of approximately 100 miles (160 kilometres) between charges, which is reportedly ideal for delivery routes in and around cities. The class 5, zero emission delivery trucks will rely on a cab forward design, which optimises the driver compartment and cargo area, increasing efficiency and reducing vehicle weight. The new trucks will join the company’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 four years refining our electric vehicles with hard fought lessons from millions of road miles and thousands of packages delivered,” said Workhorse Group CEO, Steve Burns. “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.”

UPS will test the vehicles primarily on urban routes across the country, including Atlanta, Dallas and Los Angeles.

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