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UPS Teams Up With Workhorse To Create Cost Effective Electric Vehicle

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Delivery company UPS continue their commitment to electric vehicles last week announcing 50 new vans for their fleet. Uniquely for the industry the cost will be the same as conventional cans without any subsidies. Cost is currently the only barrier to widespread adoption of plug-in electric vehicles.

To do this they have teamed up with Workhorse Group involving themselves in the design process from the start. The vans will have zero emissions from the tailpipe. Workhorse reckons these new vans provide an almost 400% boost in fuel efficiency. On a full charge the vans will have a range of around 100 miles making it perfect for short range urban deliveries. The van’s design will optimise cargo space and offer extra driver comfort all while reducing overall weight.

“This innovation is the result of Workhorse working closely with UPS over the last 4 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.”  – Steve Burns, CEO of Workhorse Group.

UPS plans to test the vehicles in a range of urban centres across the US including LA, Atlanta and Dallas. As well as removing emissions from cities the vehicles will be quieter, a big bonus in populated areas.

These tests will give UPS and Workhorse the data they need to fine-tune the vehicles with a view to increasing the fleet size from 2019. One of the big pluses for UPS will be the reduced maintenance costs. Most of the upkeep costs in diesel or petrol vehicles are engine related, not a problem with their electric counterparts.

“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,” – Carlton Rose, President, Global Fleet Maintenance and Engineering for UPS

UPS hopes to make electric vehicles the default choice where possible in the near future. They currently run 35,000 petrol and diesel trucks and vans that meet the criteria for being replaced by the electric option. By 2020 they want to make a quarter of new vehicles purchased an advanced technology or alternative fuel vehicle. Furthermore by 2025 the company pledges 25% of its energy used will come from from renewable sources.

UPS already has 300 electric vehicles in operation in the US and Europe along with 700 hybrid electric vehicles. They are one of the early adopters of Tesla’s much lauded semi truck. The company placed an order for 125 of the vehicles in December last year. Also last year UPS announced a deal to become the first US commercial customer of Daimler’s Fuso brand. They ordered three of Fuso’s 7.5t eCanter fully electric trucks.

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