UPS Is Going Green

by Dennis Machicao

UPS, the venerable delivery company, is investing to convert their brown delivery trucks into green ones. Alternative fuel systems are a priority for the company in order to reduce emissions gasses into the environment.

Currently, UPS is testing the use of all electric vehicles (EV) to make their delivery rounds. Unfortunately, for the moment, you can only see UPS EVs in London and Paris. 

The English company Arrival, a manufacturer of commercial vehicles, has been testing EV prototypes with UPS since 2016 and currently has supplying 35 of their all electric trucks to UPS along with developing energy storage batteries at U.K. sites for more effective charging. 

The trucks have a fully electric powertrain and advanced drive assistance tools and have a capability of traveling more that 150 miles without recharging.  As mentioned before though, the trial is only in London and Paris and for the moment Arrival has no plans to enter the US market.  But with UPS’s fleet of 9,000 vehicles just might make Arrival reconsider going global if their testing is successful. 

In the US, specifically first in Sacramento, California and later on the rest of the state, UPS is testing its extended range fuel cell delivery trucks in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy to retrofit their trucks with hydrogen powered systems. Each truck will have a 32-kilowatt fuel cell that generates electricity to power the vehicle, along with a 45 kWh of battery storage and 10kg of hydrogen fuel. 5,000 hours of service will be tested to ensure viability on the road.

For the open road, UPS has ordered 125 Tesla Semi Trucks, the largest known order of a fully electric truck. Their goal is to by 2020 purchase one in 4 vehicles that have alternative fuel systems. Tesla states that their Semi can travel 500 miles in a single charge at maximum weight and equipped with Autopilot technology allowing self-driving capability on the highway.

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