Purchase will make California the largest EV fleet for UPS

The ways to improve the fuel economy of a vehicle are many and varied. Manufacturers can resort to technology, smaller engines, batteries, or just make the vehicles lighter and more aerodynamic. UPS has been working on making its fleet of brown delivery vans more efficient for a long time now. With all the miles UPS drives on an average day, a modest savings in fuel consumption across the fleet would save the company significant money and reduce pollution.

UPS has announced that it will be buying 100 electric delivery vehicles from Electric Vehicles International (EVI) in Stockton, California. The 100 vehicles will replace older diesel trucks already in the fleet and all for the vehicles will be deployed in California. The electric delivery vehicles will have a 90-mile range and will help UPS to save an estimated 126,000 gallons of fuel each year.

"This purchase is a milestone for UPS's alternative fleet expansion," said Mike Britt, UPS's director of vehicle engineering. "UPS's research and development of alternative technologies has determined it is time to explore electric drive systems within the short-range segment of our delivery fleet. This purchase is an important first step in supporting investment and advancement in electric vehicle technology. EVI's vehicle met our requirements in the test phase. Now we will operate these vehicles in the real world and help establish the future viability of this technology."

Currently, UPS has 28 EVs in fleets operating in NYC and Europe. The purchase of the 100 EVs for California will be the largest EV fleet rollout in the country for UPS. UPS currently operates one of the largest fleets of private alternative fuel vehicles in the world. In total, UPS has 2,200 green vehicles in use globally. Those vehicles include CNG, propane, LNG, and hybrid-electric vehicles.

"The advantage of an electric power train is zero tailpipe emissions," added Britt. "These trucks will be perfectly suited for UPS's short range urban delivery routes."

Back in June, UPS was talking up prototype vans it was testing that were 1,000 pounds lighter than the existing vans and 40% more fuel-efficient. Those vehicles were the CV-23 delivery trucks
 that use a 150hp turbo diesel and a 7-speed transmission. 

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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