UPS and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) plan to use new technology to convert UPS package delivery vehicles from diesel to electric, UPS has announced.
UPS and Unique Electric Solutions LLC (UES) will design, build, test, and make the conversions. The project supports Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030 by replacing diesel vehicles with clean technology.
“Public-private partnerships help push innovation forward and transform industries,” said Carlton Rose, UPS president of global fleet maintenance and engineering. “This program will help UPS develop and deploy electric delivery trucks faster and more affordable. Because they are cleaner and quieter, electric vehicles are ideal for dense urban environments like New York City and are a critical part of our strategy for the future.”
NYSERDA is providing $500,000 in funding to develop and test the conversion system. If successful, the Bronx-based project is expected to bring a production version of the converted truck to the streets of New York City by the spring.
In addition to producing a new, cost-effective all-electric conversion kit, the project will deliver a blueprint for converting up to three UPS vehicles a day. This could lead to the conversion of up to 1,500 UPS delivery trucks, which is about 66% of UPS’s NYC fleet, operating in New York City by 2022.
The conversions will be based on electric vehicle technology developed by Unique Electric Solutions. The core system features a 225-kilowatt Switched Reluctance Motor (SRM) with a high voltage backbone optimized for the duty cycle of UPS delivery trucks. SRMs are simpler, cheaper and better suited for electric vehicles over conventional induction motors and do not rely on the use of magnets made from imported rare earth metals like permanent magnet motors do, according to UPS.
The UES SRM propulsion system provides more miles per battery charge, according to the manufacturer, which reduces charging times and increases energy efficiency up to 20%.
UPS operates more than 770 electric or hybrid-electric vehicles in urban settings around the world. They are part of a fleet of more than 8,500 alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles worldwide.