UPS has decided to add a battery electric delivery van with a range extender engine to its fleet. It will buy 125 vans equipped with E-GEN hybrid powertrains from Workhorse. “These vehicles are a great example of the impact our Rolling Lab approach is having. Our real world testing of this new technology revealed opportunities to improve its performance and efficiency, which led to the development of a more advanced propulsion system,” says Carlton Rose, president of UPS global fleet maintenance and engineering.
The Workhorse E-GEN is equipped with a 200 kW Sumo electric motor and a 60 kWh battery pack (45 kWh usable). It uses the familiar Panasonic 18650 cells — the same cells used in the Tesla battery pack. It also has a 2 cylinder internal combustion enginge rated at 30 horsepower.
The package is intended to allow the delivery vehicles to complete most of their daily route using electric power only without any concerns about being able to get back to the UPS terminal if battery power is exhausted during the day. The powertrain is designed to maximize fuel economy during the delivery day.
Workhouse describes its E-GEN system this way: “A compact, quiet-running 2-cylinder engine replaces a prior 4-cylinder engine to extend their range, improve performance and fuel efficiency. The updated trucks deliver significant fuel economy equivalency gains — up to four times the fuel economy of a gasoline-powered vehicle.” If the new trucks cut fuel consumption by 75%, that is the sort of number that brings joy to the heart of any fleet manager.
“These low-emission trucks are designed specifically to meet the stop and start needs of UPS’s urban delivery routes, while driving unprecedented fuel and maintenance savings. This new system enables the vehicle to accommodate UPS’s typical route on battery energy and uses a very small internal combustion engine to add additional energy to the batteries when and if needed and eliminates range anxiety,” says Steve Burns, CEO of Workhorse
The new delivery vans will be deployed in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, Ohio and Texas. They should e in service by the end of this year. Before 2018 rolls around, UPS intends to log a total of 1 billion miles with alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. It has been experimenting with various types of plug-in hybrid vehicles for several years.
Source: Inside EVs Photo credit: Workhorse