UPS increases its electric fleet in Germany by converting diesel vehicles

Oct 11, 2019   Supply Chain

UPS has announced that it will be converting an additional 33 diesel delivery vehicles to electric or hybrid.

The conversions are a part of ZUKUNFT. DE, an initiative sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure to explore ways to make package delivery more sustainable.

“Fleet electrification is one of the areas where we seek to act as an industry leader,” said Luke Wake, Director of Automotive Engineering & Advanced Technology Group, UPS International. “Our operations are well suited toward electric vehicle technologies but the lack of vehicle availability continues to prove frustrating. As one of the world’s leading logistics providers, we want to show with these conversions that the technology is here today, it’s real, it works and we want to encourage the mass adoption of commercial electric vehicles in the marketplace.”

Of the 33 vehicles, 15 will run purely on electricity, and the remaining 18 will be plugin hybrids. Two of the hybrid vehicles have already been deployed in Hanover, and the remaining 16 will be used in Bielefeld, Frankfurt and Nuremberg. The e-vehicles conversions will be used initially in Dusseldorf and Frankfurt-am-Main, with further cities to follow. The new 33 vehicles will enable a reduction of up to 200 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, providing a significant and positive impact in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

UPS has a long history of working with small businesses to provide the technological know-how for its vehicle conversions. The plugin hybrid drive technology has been sourced from the Lithuanian company Elinta and is being fitted in Germany by automotive manufacturer Sommer. The purely electric-powered vehicles are being refitted by German company EFA-S.

“We’re electrifying the last mile. Low in emissions and quiet – that’s how packages will soon arrive. We are investing ten million euros in sustainable delivery vehicles,” said Andreas Scheuer, Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.

More than 80 fully-electric delivery vehicles are now in use in Germany. Using its “rolling laboratory” approach, UPS deploys approximately 10,000 low-emission vehicles worldwide to determine what alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles work best in various routes and duty cycles. This includes all-electric, hybrid electric, hydraulic hybrid, ethanol, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) and propane.

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