Green Fleet Top News

UPS Adds 125 Hybrid Step Vans

September 9, 2015

Photo courtesy of UPS.
Photo courtesy of UPS.

UPS has purchased 125 Workhorse E-Gen gasoline-electric hybrid step vans to reduce operating costs and save fuel, the Atlanta-based parcel delivery company announced. The E-Gen trucks will be replacing gasoline-powered vehicles.

The new trucks are expected to deliver up to four times the fuel economy of the gasoline-powered vehicles they are replacing. The new vehicles will be deployed in Arizona, Texas, Nevada, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida during the first half of 2016, according to UPS.

"These vehicles are a bridge to the delivery trucks of tomorrow," said Mark Wallace, senior vice president global engineering and sustainability.

The E-Gen includes a small internal combustion engine that serves as an on-board backup generator to recharge the vehicle's battery when the truck is in park. The vehicle features a 60-kilowatt lithium-ion battery pack containing Panasonic 18650 cells, and it offers a 50- to 60-mile-per-day range, according to Workhorse Group, the Cincinnati-based company that manufactures the E-Gen.

UPS purchased the trucks as part of its commitment to utilize advanced technologies to reduce the environmental impact of its fleet. While the new electric vehicles will cost UPS slightly more than a similar truck with a conventional engine, the company's sustainability commitment influenced the purchase decision, UPS added.

UPS is also collaborating with Workhorse to develop a more intelligent electric vehicle to determine when and where the batteries will be charged and re-charged.


  1. 1. bruce dp [ September 09, 2015 @ 03:48PM ]

    The news item is missing some key details, that could leave the reader with misinformation.

    The UPS step-van is not an old-school hybrid (like the first Prius hev), but a plug-in-hybrid (phev/pih, well suited for large, heavy vehicles that also may have to drive in cold winter conditions).

    The converter is AMP
    The details on that pih
    tells of two 30kWH battery packs (61kWh) but only 45kWh is being used (usually this is done to maximize the packs' warranty life). This like having two Leaf EV packs on-board.

    But it only has a Level-2 (L2) 7kW charging ability. Meaning it will take ~6 hours to recharge the on-board packs to 80% or ~9 hours to 100% SOC at a 6kW rate (the last part of the charge is the slowest = takes longer, and why drivers stop at 80% charged). Most buildings only offer 208VAC so it will recharge at 6kW, not 7kW like when on 240VAC at a home. This is plenty fast when charging at night.

    As an EV advocate, I am glad UPS is making the commitment to improve their fleet vehicles this way. I hope the in the future UPS also considers implementing an autonomous (auton) driving mode, so that the on-board driver can focus on sorting and inventory prep, and not racing/speeding and tailgating vehicles in front of them. There will always be a need to have a driver on-board, so their job is secure. The auton-driving mode will save even more fuel, wear and tear on the engine (ice), and reduce stress for both on the UPS driver and the public around them.

    *I write this as one of my local UPS (ice) drivers, races over the street's speed bumps in front of my place. This is a daily occurrence, and happens multiple times a day. Auton-delivery pih vehicles can not come soon enough for me!

    For EVLN posts use:


  2. 2. Michael Galorath [ September 18, 2015 @ 11:48AM ]

    All of UPS's large building are 480 volts. This is because of the systems with in the buildings. They will have the proper ability to charge the vehilces daily


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