UPS Inc. will begin converting the bulk of its New York City delivery van fleet from diesel to electric power in a move that the company said could cut its fuel bill by 20 percent, under a public-private partnership announced Thursday between the Atlanta-based company and the state's Energy Research and Development Authority.
UPS and Stony Brook, N.Y.-based Unique Electric Solutions LLC, will design, build, test, and make the conversions, while the state authority will provide $500,000 in funding, UPS said. The project, which will be conducted in the New York borough of The Bronx, is part of a statewide goal set by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) to reduce carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2030 by replacing diesel-powered vehicles with clean technology.
If successful, the first converted package car would hit the streets by the spring, UPS said. The plan is to convert up to three cars a day, which could lead to about 1,500 vehicles, or two-thirds of UPS' current New York City fleet, operating by 2022. The company said it does not know how many vehicles will be converted.
The core system features a specialized motor with a high-voltage backbone aligned with the duty cycles of UPS delivery trucks. The new motors are simpler, cheaper, and better suited than conventional induction motors for the operation of electronic vehicles, UPS said.
The engine's propulsion system provides more miles per battery charge, which reduces charging times and increases energy efficiency by up to 20 percent, UPS said. The company would not disclose what that would translate into in terms of hard-dollar fuel savings.
UPS' global fleet consists of more than 8,500 alternate fuel and advanced technology vehicles. The company has said that one of four vehicles worldwide will use alternative fuels or advanced technology by 2020.