UPS and Workhorse are to work together on a design for a bespoke logistics EV, with testing slated for 2019
US-based logistics firm UPS has announced a new supply deal with EV-maker Workhorse, in which it will deploy 50 new all-electric delivery trucks for its fleet.
UPS said the new models will be “comparable in acquisition cost to conventional-fuelled trucks without any subsidies” and believes it is an industry first that can help spur large-scale fleet adoption.
Interestingly, the company will work alongside Workhorse to design the vehicles from the ground up, meaning the bespoke models should be equipped exactly as required. Details of the construction and capabilities are scarce, although UPS has confirmed that each vehicle will have a range of approximately 100 miles on one charge, and that they will be based on a cab forward design. This optimises the driver compartment and cargo area, increasing efficiency and reducing vehicle weight.
The rendering above gives some idea of the size of the model, although exact specifications (battery and motor size, etc.) may take some time to be developed.
UPS will test the vehicles largely on urban routes across the country, including in Atlanta, Dallas and Los Angeles.
After real-world test deployments, UPS and Workhorse will then fine-tune the design in time to deploy a larger fleet in 2019 and beyond.
In addition to the competitive capital expenditure, UPS says it expects operating costs of the new vehicles to be less than a similarly sized diesel or gasoline vehicle.
The new trucks will join the company’s “Rolling Lab”, its fleet of more than 9,000 alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. This includes prototype FCEVs among other models, and UPS has also placed an early order for 125 Tesla Semis, as well as three Fuso eCanters.
The delivery firm’s goal is to make the new EVs a standard selection, where appropriate, in its fleet of the future.
“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,” said UPS Global Fleet Maintenance and Engineering president Carlton Rose. “With our scale and real-world duty cycles, these new electric trucks will be a quantum leap forward for the purpose-built UPS 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.”
“This innovation is the result of Workhorse working closely with UPS over the last 4 years refining our electric vehicles with hard fought lessons from millions of road miles and thousands of packages delivered,” said Workhorse Group CEO Steve Burns. “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.”