UPS and Workhorse to develop 50 purpose-built electric delivery vehicles

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UPS is collaborating with US vehicle manufacturer Workhorse Group to develop and deploy 50 plug-in electric delivery trucks that will cost the same to purchase as conventional trucks, without any subsidies. The vehicles will be developed from the ground up and will have zero tailpipe emissions.

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

“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.”

Workhorse claims the new vehicles will increase fuel efficiency by nearly 400% compared to conventionally fueled trucks. Each will have a range of approximately 100 miles between charges, ideal for delivery routes in and around cities. The class 5, zero-emission delivery trucks will rely on a cab forward design, which optimizes 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.

Steve Burns, CEO of Workhorse Group, said, “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. 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 the cities of Atlanta, Georgia; Dallas, Texas; and Los Angeles, California. They will then fine-tune the design in time to deploy a larger fleet in 2019 and beyond. 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. 

February 26, 2018

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Dan joined Postal and Parcel Technology International in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As assistant editor, he now produces daily content for the website and supports the editors with the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest logistics news, Dan can be found apprehensively planning his next DIY project for his new home.

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