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UPS introduces hybrid electric vehicles to UK fleets

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UPS has introduced a new line of range-extended electric vehicles (REEVs) to its fleets in Birmingham and Southampton to overcome the range limitations of pure electric vehicles within the logistics industry.

‘This is a big breakthrough for our continued use of electric vehicles in the UK – and for the communities we serve,’ said Luke Wake, director of automotive engineering and advanced technology, UPS International.

‘The range jump from 100km to 400km is the result of UPS’s latest collaboration with TEVVA. We can serve our customers with lower emission, alternatively-fuelled vehicles in places beyond the reach of existing pure electric vehicles at this weight class.’

The new REEVs operate using groundbreaking hybrid electric vehicle technology, which increases route range while maintaining the cargo capacity of traditional diesel vehicles of the same weight class.

‘Commercial vehicles account for 27% of transport related CO2 and 5% of total greenhouse gas emissions on Europe’s roads,’ said Richard Lidstone-Scott, commercial director, TEVVA Motors Ltd. ‘EU legislation says that this needs to be cut by 15% by 2025 and 30% by 2030, and Net Zero in the UK by 2050.

‘What that means is that the electrification of the medium duty truck sector is inevitable, yet many firms are still scratching their heads about how and when to make that happen. At TEVVA we already have viable technology, proven in real-world trials, which can help companies like UPS reduce emissions to almost zero without compromising their business-critical ability to carry full payloads.’

The REEVs use geofencing technology to automatically switch to pure electric mode when reaching a predetermined boundary, such as prior to entering an urban environment or clean air zone. This same technology allows the vehicle to switch to the on-board range extender that utilises a significantly smaller and efficient diesel engine to recharge the battery, such as on the motorway connecting neighbouring towns and cities.

Royal Mail is already using around 100 electric delivery vans to deliver parcels, letters and cards to the doors of our customers from 18 delivery offices around the UK, including Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Nottingham and London. We are also using some electric trucks in London, from our Mount Pleasant Mail Centre, to move mail between our larger sites in and around the capital.

Our longer-term ambition is to move to a low-carbon fleet and ensure that we are investing in a fleet that meets future legislation.