UPS Expands Hybrid Electric Fleet - Global Trade Magazine
  September 22nd, 2015 | Written by

UPS Expands Hybrid Electric Fleet

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  • UPS’s new trucks will deliver up to four times the fuel economy of a gasoline powered vehicle.
  • UPS exec: This investment will help create the market for ground-breaking alternative propulsion systems.
  • UPS’s new trucks rely on a small internal combustion engine and lithium ion battery to deliver 50 to 60 miles per day.

UPS announced last week it has purchased 125 new technology hybrid electric delivery trucks, as part of a broader program to deploy electric-powered vehicles with greater range and performance.

The new trucks will deliver significant fuel economy gains, up to four times the fuel economy of a gasoline powered vehicle, compared to a 10 to 15 percent improvements with previous hybrid designs. The vehicles will be deployed in Arizona, Texas, Nevada, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida during the first half of 2016.

The vehicles are being manufactured by Workhorse Group, Inc., a Cincinnati-based company which manufactures electric drive systems for commercial trucks and can equip them with electric engines.

The new electric vehicles will cost UPS more than a similar truck with a conventional engine. The company’s sustainability commitment influenced the purchase decision, according to Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president global engineering and sustainability.

“These vehicles are a bridge to the delivery trucks of tomorrow,” Wallace added. “This investment will help create and grow the market for ground-breaking alternative propulsion systems that reduce environmental impact, reduce operating costs and save fuel.”

UPS is collaborating with Workhorse to develop a more intelligent electric vehicle to determine when and where the batteries will be charged and re-charged. The initiative is part of UPS’s Rolling Laboratory, a cutting-edge approach to optimizing the use of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles.

“These trucks are designed specifically to meet the stop and start needs of UPS’s urban delivery routes,” said Steve Burns, CEO of Workhorse Group Inc. “They rely on a very small internal combustion engine and lithium ion battery to deliver a 50 to 60-mile per day range. We are thrilled to work with UPS to develop and deliver innovative solutions to today’s transportation challenges.”

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