LONDON UPS has ordered of 12 electric vehicles from Modec, the manufacturer of a purpose-built zero-emission van. Six vehicles will be introduced into UPS' UK fleet in February 2009, including the vehicle that was used for testing until now. The remaining six will operate in Germany. The quiet, zero-emission vehicle is the first of its kind to effectively harness the power of modern, high energy batteries to meet the medium range, high performance requirements of hard working, urban delivery vehicles.

Developed by British manufacturer Modec, the vehicles will operate out of UPS' Camden facility, which lies within London's Low Emission Zone and is the company's central package facility in the capital.

The order follows a successful nine-month trial of the vehicle's capabilities earlier this year, where it averaged 18 miles per day and a battery consumption of 25 percent of full charge per day during the course of its operations in North-West, East, and Central London. Each zero emission vehicle can undertake 100 miles on one overnight charge, with batteries in future models set to increase the range to 150 miles per two-three hour charge. Because it is an electric vehicle, it requires no road tax, MOT, or tachograph and is not liable for the congestion charge.

Jim Barber, managing director, UPS UK & Ireland, said, "This order represents an important step toward making our fleet and operations more sustainable in the UK. At UPS, we have an ongoing commitment to reducing our carbon footprint, and we are continually assessing how to make the best use of alternatively fuelled vehicles on a global level."

Globally, UPS has been utilizing alternative-fuel vehicles for more than 70 years. It currently operates the transportation industry's largest private fleet of alternative-fuel vehicles. UPS' use of alternative-fuel vehicles dates back to the 1930s with electric vehicles in New York City, and today the company uses alternative-fuel vehicles in Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, the UK, and the United States.