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March 26, 2018

Green Supply Chain News: In Rather Amazing Announcement, UPS UK Says it will Soon Go All-Electric Vehicles in Central London


Beginning of the End of Combustion Engines, UPS Says, Announcing Breakthrough in Charging Technology

By The Green Supply Chain Editorial Staff

In what is actually a rather astounding announcement, UPS says it will soon operate only electric trucks in central London, the result of what it says is breakthrough technology for charging etruck batteries.

UPS says over the next few years UPS will grow its central London electric truck fleet from 52 currently to about 170.

The Green Supply Chain Says:
A UPS exec said that it is conceivable that all UPS' local collection and distribution vehicles worldwide could be electric in the near future.

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UPS said its development of what it called "radical" change in the electric vehicle-charging "smart grid" had solved the problem of needing to recharge a large number of vehicles simultaneously, without having to pay for an expensive upgrade to the technology in its charging depot.

So, this breakthrough is not related to the batteries themselves, but rather how they are charged, and likely is in part related to charging many vehicles at times when electricity rates are low.

Electric trucks will soon in total be less expensive than diesel powered delivery vans, UPS said.

"We certainly believe this to be groundbreaking," Peter Harris, director of sustainability at UPS Europe, told the Financial Times. The development will herald "a new generation of sustainable urban delivery services both here in London and in other major cities around the world."

Even more boldly, UPS also said this technology development marked the "beginning of the end" of the reliance on internal combustion engines. Wow.

The new "intelligent" charging technology works by spreading the same amount of electricity between vehicles more efficiently. Although all can be plugged into charging points simultaneously, a computer will sarging tagger which vehicles charge when. The new system also well accommodates charging "second life" batteries efficiently, UPS says.

Previously, UPS' central London base was limited to using a maximum of 65 electric vehicles, because of the limits on how much electricity can flow into its charging depot, how much energy each car requires and the costs associated with upgrading.

This is the first time this new charging technology, developed in partnership with UK Power Networks and Cross River Partnership, has been deployed at such scale. Funding for the project was received from the UK's Office for Low Emission Vehicles.

"Our previous work on electric freight vehicles has shown that local grid infrastructure constraints are one of the main barriers to their large-scale uptake," said Tanja Dalle-Muenchmeyer, program manager at Cross River Partnership.

"It's not about using more electricity, but the same amount in a clever way," said UPS' Harris. He added that "electric vehicles will play a key role in ensuring the global trend toward urbanization is sustainable."

He added that it is conceivable that all UPS' local collection and distribution vehicles worldwide could be electric in the near future.

What do you think of UPS' news? Are we really close to done with combLet us knowustion engines? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback button below.

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