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UPS and Workhorse to Collaborate on Electric Delivery Vehicles

February 22, 2018

UPS and Workhorse are collaborating to deploy 50 electric delivery vans. UPS ordered 125 hybrid delivery vans from Workhorse in 2016 as well (pictured). Photo: UPS
UPS and Workhorse are collaborating to deploy 50 electric delivery vans. UPS ordered 125 hybrid delivery vans from Workhorse in 2016 as well (pictured). Photo: UPS

UPS has announced plans to deploy 50 plug-in electric delivery trucks designed from the ground up as part of a collaboration with Workhorse Group.

The two companies aim to produce electric delivery trucks that are comparable in acquisition cost to conventionally fueled trucks without any subsidies.

The trucks are expected to have a range of around 100 miles per charge and provide a nearly 400% fuel efficiency improvement over conventional trucks.

The Class 5 zero-emission trucks will feature a cab-forward design to optimize the driver compartment and cargo area, increase efficiency, and reduce vehicle weight.

“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 Carlton Rose, president, global fleet maintenance and engineering for UPS. “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.”

The trucks will join UPS’s Rolling Lab, the company’s fleet of more than 9,000 alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles.

UPS will test the vehicles primarily on urban routes across the country, including in Atlanta, Dallas, and Los Angeles. Following real-world test deployments, UPS and Workhorse will fine-tune the design in time to deploy a larger fleet in 2019.

Since most of the maintenance costs of a vehicle are associated with the engine and related components, UPS expects the operating cost of the new plug-in electric vehicle to be less than a similarly equipped diesel or gasoline vehicle. UPS’s goal is to make the new electric vehicles a standard selection, where appropriate, in its fleet of the future.

UPS has more than 300 electric vehicles deployed in Europe and the U.S., and nearly 700 hybrid electric vehicles. The company recently ordered 125 new fully electric Semi tractors to be built by Tesla in 2019, the largest pre-order to date. Last year, UPS also announced it will become the first commercial customer in the U.S. to start using three medium-duty electric trucks from Daimler Trucks' Fuso brand, called the eCanter.

UPS has an internal goal that one out of every four new vehicles purchased by 2020 will be an alternative fuel or advanced technology vehicle. The company has also pledged to obtain 25% of the electricity it consumes from renewable energy sources by 2025 and replace 40% of all ground fuel with sources other than conventional gasoline and diesel.

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