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UPS develops solutions to charge large EV fleets

System will allow multiple electric vehicles to be charged simultaneously

UPS develops solutions to charge large EV fleets
UPS is developing technology to make commercial electric vehicle fleets a practical and cost effective alternative to diesel.

A consortium led by logistics company UPS has developed a new solution that will allow simultaneous charging of a fleet of electric vehicles (EV), without the need upgrade the power supply grid.

The new technology has been deployed in London, and will enable UPS to switch its entire central London delivery fleet of 170 vehicles to electric power, up from only half at present.

Charging a large fleet of commercial vehicles has previously required expensive upgrades to the local power grid, creating an obstacle to the wider adoption of electric vehicles by delivery companies and so on.

The new solution has been developed as part of UPS' ‘Smart Electric Urban Logistics (SEUL)' project with UK Power Networks and Cross River Partnership, with funding from the UK's Office for Low Emission Vehicles.

The system utilises a smart grid controlled by a central server, and onsite storage batteries to charge the entire fleet throughout the night, by spreading the recharging process out, and avoiding power drain which interferes with power to other functions at the deport.

 UPS said that this set up, in combination with smart grid technology, conventional power upgrades and local power generation will create a more practical and affordable EV infrastructure in future.

"UPS thinks this is a world first, right in the heart of a mega-city. 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," said Peter Harris, director of sustainability, UPS Europe.

"Electric vehicles are an integral component within UPS's alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet. Our collaboration with UK Power Networks and Cross River Partnership marks a major turning point in the cost effective deployment of electric vehicles which in turn will play a key role in ensuring the global trend toward urbanization is sustainable. We are applying new technology to make the charging process smarter and our delivery service cleaner."

UPS is also working on a project in the US to design new electric-powered delivery vehicles which will have acquisition costs, including costs associated with getting power to the vehicle, lower than a diesel counterpart. This development will be instrumental in enabling electric vehicles to be deployed at scale in the world's cities which is an essential component of tackling the air quality challenges in these urban environments.

UPS is the Official Logistics Partner for Expo2020 in Dubai, and the company said its developments in EV shows how its shares Expo's sustainability goals.

Jean-Francois Condamine, president of the Indian subcontinent, Middle East & Africa district, UPS said: "What you're seeing is a real-world example of how UPS is meeting ambitious sustainability goals. We have committed to purchasing 40 percent of UPS's ground fuel from sources other than conventional gasoline and diesel by 2025. This breakthrough has worldwide multi-sector implications and is an important step in addressing the challenges associated with the cost of deploying and charging an electric fleet.

"It's also a demonstration of our shared values with Expo 2020 Dubai on sustainability. Technology is a means to driving sustainability. Expo 2020 Dubai is committed to building a legacy that is sustainable and long lasting, extending its impact and benefits beyond the UAE to the wider region and the rest of the world long after 2020. By the time Expo 2020 Dubai is up and running, one in four new vehicles we purchase will be an alternative fuel or advanced technology vehicle. You know the saying - what gets measured gets done!"

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