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UPS orders a fleet of 50 all-electric delivery trucks to slowly electrify its huge fleet

UPS has several ongoing electrification efforts to convert its massive fleet of delivery vehicles and today, they announced a new step in their partnership with Workhorse to build 50 all-electric delivery trucks.

Workhorse is a Loveland, Ohio-based truck maker that has been developing several different electric powertrains and electric vehicle programs.

The company is working on its upcoming plug-in electric W-15 pickup truck and it recently unveiled an electric van geared toward delivery with drone for the last-mile.

They have also been working with UPS to convert their fleet and now they announced the deployment of 50 plug-in electric delivery trucks that they claim “will be comparable in acquisition cost to conventional-fueled trucks without any subsidies.”

Carlton Rose, President, Global Fleet Maintenance and Engineering for UPS, commented on the announcement:

“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-builtUPS® 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.”

The trucks have a range of “approximately 100 miles between charges” and will be used in urban routes. Workhorse claims these vehicles provide “nearly 400% fuel efficiency improvement” over UPS’ current class 5 trucks.

Furthermore, the trucks have a “cab-forward design”, which optimizes the driver compartment and cargo area – resulting in increasing efficiency and reducing vehicle weight.

Steve Burns, CEO of Workhorse Group, commented:

“This innovation is the result of Workhorse working closely withUPS 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.”

UPS will test the vehicles primarily in Atlanta, Dallas, and Los Angeles sometime this year.

The two companies say that after those tests, there will be a deployment of a “larger fleet in 2019 and beyond.” There’s a lot of work to be done since UPS has approximately 35,000 diesel or gasoline trucks on the road.

The delivery giant is also working on several other electrification efforts. They are converting ‘up to 1,500 delivery trucks’ to battery-electric in New York, they’ve already bought some of Daimler’s new electric trucks, and they’ve ordered 125 Tesla Semi trucks.

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