UPS will be deploying 50 zero-emission plug-in electric delivery vehicles and testing them along urban routes across the US.
According to a press release, for the first time the cost to acquire these vehicles is comparable to conventionally fuelled trucks “without any subsidies”. They provide almost 400% improvement in fuel efficiency, and are able to drive for a hundred miles between charges.
UPS is collaborating with Workhorse Group to design and manufacture the vehicles. The trucks will be fine-tuned following the upcoming real-world trials, with a plan to deploy a greater number of the vehicles from 2019.
Artistic rendering of plug-in electric delivery truck. Credit: UPS
UPS already has over 300 electric vehicles deployed in the US and Europe, along with 700 hybrids. It also preordered 125 all-electric Tesla Semi trucks at the end of last year.
The courier company aims to use electric or alternative fuel for one in four new vehicles purchased by 2020, use renewable sources for 25 per cent of its electricity by 2025, and replace 40 per cent of all ground fuel with sources other than petrol or diesel.
In the existing UPS fleet there are approximately 35,000 diesel or petrol vehicles of comparable size to the new electric model.