The United Postal Service (UPS) uses a global ground fleet with nearly 90,000 trucks to deliver millions of packages daily. UPS is working with Electric Vehicles International (EVI) to replace a small portion of this fleet with all-electric trucks. This partnership will send a EVI-WI delivery van on a 90-day trial run in San Francisco, Sacramento and Reno. The EVI-WI is a walk-in van built with an Utilimaster body similar to the familiar brown trucks used by UPS. Each city is scheduled to participate in a 30-day demonstration to compare the EVI-WI with standard UPS trucks.
The EVI-WI is powered by a 150kW electric motor along with a 99kWh lithium-ion battery developed by Valence. EVI has limited the top speed of this van to 60 miles per hour to ensure greater range. UPS offices in all three cities will benefit from vehicle ranges of 90 miles per charge. This all-electric van uses a five-speed manual transmission with power take off (PTO). The EVI drive system allows UPS drivers to stay on the road all day without sacrificing performance.
EVI and UPS have been working since early 2009 to chip away at the parcel giant’s greenhouse gas emissions. This duo has consulted with Utilimaster as well as Freightliner to create a safe and fuel-efficient delivery vehicle. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved the EVI-WI based on stringent emissions standards earlier this year. The EVI-WI also qualifies for the $20,000 Hybrid Truck and Bus Incentive Project offered by CARB. A successful demonstration of the EVI-WI will encourage local businesses and municipalities to look carefully at this vehicle.
UPS made smart decisions when organizing this demonstration project. The three communities where the EVI-WI is slated for use contain more than 1.5 million residents. The EVI-WI will be put through the paces in windy conditions in San Francisco and high temperatures in Reno. UPS is going to test this innovative delivery vehicle on steep hills, narrow streets and far-flung suburbs. This test run should show the viability of all-electric vehicles to power brokers in Sacramento, San Francisco and Reno. A single unit of the EVI-WI may only be a drop in the bucket for UPS but the company’s global reach and capital could mean an expedited fleet conversion.