UPS is introducing a fleet of custom-built hybrid electric trucks with batteries that can last 300% longer than a typical electric truck battery.
The company’s new line of extended-range electric vehicles can automatically switch modes between fully electric and a hybrid of diesel and electric.
The Future of Autos
UPS said the new trucks can can travel up to 400 kilometers, or roughly 250 miles — an increase from the 100 kilometer, or 62 mile, limit of a typical electric truck. The company, which is rolling out the vehicles in two cities in the United Kingdom, said the range of the former type of electric trucks aren’t isn’t enough to deliver packages from warehouses in the country.
“We can serve our customers with lower-emission, alternatively fueled vehicles in places beyond the reach of existing pure electric vehicles at this weight class,” said Luke Wake, director of automotive engineering & advanced technology, UPS International in a release.
The 15 trucks can automatically switch between hybrid and fully electric modes in city zones, which is important for the two cities where they will initially be used. Birmingham and Southampton are introducing “Clean Air Zones” next year in their downtown areas that will charge polluting vehicles a fee to travel through.
The technology can automatically switch to fully electric. A new “Range Extender” option uses a “significantly smaller and efficient diesel engine to recharge the battery” so they can return to UPS depots.
UPS (UPS) said it has invested more than $1 billion since 2009 to develop new vehicle technology. It recently announced that it’s buying 170 million gallons of renewable natural gas to help the company deliver its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of its ground fleet 12% by 2025.
The logistics company has reserved 125 electric semi-trucks from Tesla (TSLA) and is working with Cincinnati-based Workhorse Group (WKHS) to design electric delivery trucks. UPS has more than 10,000 alternative fuel vehicles in its global fleet.
Trucks account for 27% of carbon dioxide pollution in Europe. The United Kingdom intends for those vehicles to emit “Net Zero” pollution by 2050.