The FINANCIAL — UPS on October 28 announced the deployment of 18 electric, zero emission delivery vehicles to the Houston-Galveston area in Texas. The truck purchases are the result of a partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), local governments and non-profits. These vehicles, designed and built specifically by the Workhorse Group for the “stop and go” needs of a UPS delivery truck, will avoid the consumption of an estimated 1.1 million gallons of diesel fuel over 20 years.
The DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) provided a grant toward the vehicles as part of an ongoing effort to improve air quality in the Houston-Galveston area. The region is currently designated as a National Ambient Air Quality Non-Attainment Area — a region where air pollution levels persistently exceed national air quality standards. Grants offset research and development costs necessary to design and build these prototype vehicles, with the goal being to further the development and eventually lower the cost of low or zero emission commercial vehicles, according to UPS.
The electric trucks operate with electric motors and rechargeable batteries that supply seamless acceleration and regenerative braking, creating a safe, highly efficient vehicle. Delivery of the vehicles began last month and will continue throughout the fall.
“Our goal is to deploy vehicles with the least environmental impact possible in each region, consistent with local regulations and economic conditions,” said Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president global engineering and sustainability. “Support from the DOE, local governments and the non-profit Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) help us to accomplish this goal. We will continue to identify opportunities to drive innovation in our fleet and the marketplace.”
The initiative adds to UPS’s Rolling Laboratory, a fleet of more than 6,430 alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles worldwide which includes 574 electric and hybrid electric vehicles.
The DOE grant is part of a Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) partnership with CTE to accelerate the introduction and deployment of electric vehicles into the cargo transportation sector. The vehicles are being manufactured by Workhorse Group, Inc., a Cincinnati-based company which manufactures electric drive systems for commercial trucks and can equip them with electric engines.
“Meeting today’s complex clean air challenges requires public-private partnerships,” said Shelley Whitworth, transportation program manager, H-GAC. “These zero emission vehicles will help improve air quality in the Houston-Galveston area.”
“The Workhorse E-100 was designed and built to meet UPS’s daily duty cycle, with a range of up to 70 miles a day,” said Steve Burns, CEO of Workhorse Group Inc. “This UPS truck is designed from the ground up for local parcel delivery in high density, urban settings. We are honored to work with UPS on these vehicles.”