Photo courtesy of Workhorse.

Photo courtesy of Workhorse.

UPS has extended the range and improved the fuel economy of 125 of its hybrid-electric delivery trucks, the logistics company announced.

The update is part of the company’s broader Rolling Laboratory, a cutting-edge approach to optimizing the use of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. The updated trucks feature a compact, quiet-running 2-cylinder engine to extend their range and improve performance and fuel efficiency. The 650cc engine (which replaces a 4-cylinder engine) and updated E-Gen chassis were provided by Workhorse Group.

The trucks deliver up to four times the fuel economy of a gasoline-powered vehicle. They will be deployed in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, Ohio, and Texas later this year.

"These vehicles are a great example of the impact our Rolling Lab approach is having," said Carlton Rose, UPS Global Fleet Maintenance and Engineering president. "Our real-world testing of this new technology revealed opportunities to improve its performance and efficiency, which led to the development of a more advanced propulsion system."

The trucks were purchased under UPS’s commitment to log 1 billion miles with alternative fuel and advanced-technology vehicles by the end of 2017.

“These low-emission trucks are designed specifically to meet the stop and start needs of UPS’s urban delivery routes, while driving unprecedented fuel and maintenance savings,” said Steve Burns, CEO of Workhorse. “This new system enables the vehicle to accommodate UPS’s typical route on battery energy and uses a very small internal combustion engine to add additional energy to the batteries when and if needed and eliminates range anxiety.”