UPS has announced major investments in its vehicle-charging infrastructure as the company moves to electrify its London fleet, one of the largest in the world. The company recently deployed innovative smart grid technology that is capable of supporting a fully electric fleet of 170 trucks or more. “The breakthrough signals the beginning of the end of a reliance upon traditional combustion engine powered vehicles,” said the company in a statement.
The ‘Smart Electric Urban Logistics (SEUL)’ initiative was created in partnership with UK Power Networks and Cross River Partnership, with funding from the United Kingdom’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles. The SEUL infrastructure incorporates a central server, which coordinates with electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, the grid power supply, and on-site energy storage. Though the company currently uses new batteries in its storage, UPS hopes to incorporate second-use batteries from electric vehicles into its infrastructure in the future.
UPS believes that it is well-positioned to lead the way into an EV future. “UPS thinks this is a world first, right in the heart of a mega-city” said Peter Harris, director of sustainability for UPS Europe. “We are using new technology to work around some big obstacles to electric vehicle deployment, heralding a new generation of sustainable urban delivery services both here in London and in other major cities around the world.” UPS is also invested in other electrification efforts, such as the conversion of 1,500 combustion-engine trucks to battery-electric in New York City and the increased purchasing of electric trucks from companies like Tesla and Daimler. The company has a long history of support for electric vehicles, with its earliest electric trucks introduced in the 1930s.
Images via UPS