UPS introduces zero-emission electric fleet for use in California

By Kieran Ball - 25 Aug 2011 15:41:0 GMT
UPS introduces zero-emission electric fleet for use in California

UPS has announced that it is to purchase 100 emission-free electric vans for its California operation. The CEO of Electric Vehicles International (EVI), Ricky Hanna, commented on the deal:

"We are proud to provide 100 California made vehicles to UPS beginning in January. UPS is an industry leader in implementing alternative fuel vehicles and we are excited to partner with them on this deployment."

EVI is still a relatively small company but it's a significant account win for the electric commercial vehicle manufacturer that operates by putting their green technology into chassis made by other companies.

It's not something UPS went into blindly either. The delivery company spent two years analysing the move to electric vehicles, estimating fuel savings to be in the region of 126,000 gallons annually. Of course, the fact that CO2 emissions from the mobile fleet will be reduced to zero had influenced the decision too.

The new vans are capable of travelling up to 90 miles on one charge, which makes them ideal for local city and suburban deliveries. Mike Britt, director of vehicle engineering at UPS, admits that the technology is still costly, but thinks the time is right for the 'electric revolution':

"The cost of these is still prohibitive. The price however should come down as production of electric vehicles and their batteries revs up. We would like to see the batteries lighter and cheaper. Everything else is there."

UPS is just one major company that has been testing alternatives to gas and diesel powered vehicles. In fact, the delivery company claims to have used electric vehicles in its fleet as far back as 1930, and already has vehicles that run on propane and other gases in service.

It's clear that the financial incentives available from local authorities and air quality management districts played a big part in UPS's decision. It's hoped that similar companies with the need for short range vehicle fleets will take from the UPS example and make the shift from gas and diesel to electric powered vehicles.

Top Image Credit: EVI class 6, all electric walk-in delivery vehicle. © (Photo by: Business Wire)