UPS To Test Fuel Cell Powered Delivery Van In 2017

UPS uses a lot of diesel and gasoline. Not only do fossil fuels cost the company a lot of money every year, they also leave behind a trail of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxides, and particulates that are harmful to the environment. UPS has invested more than $750,000,000 to research more sustainable ways of powering its fleet of delivery vans and cargo trucks that will save the company money as well. This year, it will conduct trials of fuel cell powered delivery vans in the Sacramento area.

UPS fuel cell powered delivery van

The delivery vans will look the same as any others in the UPS system, but will have a plug-in hybrid electric powertrain augmented with a 32 kilowatt fuel cell sourced from Hydrog(e)nics. The goal is to provide “the same route and range requirements of UPS’s existing conventional fuel vehicles,” says Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president global engineering and sustainability.

The 45 kWh battery included in the system cannot provide the range UPS needs, so it will be recharged during the day by the fuel cell. “The challenge we face with fuel-cell technology is to ensure the design can meet the unique operational demands of our delivery vehicles on a commercial scale,” Wallace says.



UPS plans to start using the first hydrogen fuel cell trucks in street and highway use in Sacramento, California, between July and September this year. It needs to gather at least 5,000 hours of performance data during regular service so it can compare the performance of the prototypes to that of its conventional delivery vans. The trucks will be fueled at a public hydrogen fueling station in Sacramento, saving UPS from the need to build its own hydrogen fueling infrastructure.

UPS has ordered 100 delivery vans with a plug-in hybrid powertrain with a range extender gasoline engine designed by Workhorse, the Ohio company that is using a version of that system in its new W-15 all wheel drive electric pickup trucks. The company also has trucks powered by compressed natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas in its test fleet.

Source: Green Car Reports


Steve Hanley

Closely following the transition from internal combustion to electricity. Whether it's cars, trucks, ships, or airplanes, sustainability is the key. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.