|The Modec van for UPS. Click to enlarge.|
UPS has ordered twelve electric vehicles from UK-based Modec, the manufacturer of the world’s first purpose-built zero-emission van. Six vehicles will be introduced into UPS’ UK fleet in February 2009, including the vehicle that was used for testing until now. The remaining six will operate in Germany.
The UK vehicles will operate out of UPS’ Camden facility, which lies within London’s Low Emission Zone and is the company’s central package facility in the capital.
The order follows a successful nine month trial of the vehicle’s capabilities earlier this year, where it averaged eighteen miles per day and a battery consumption of 25% of full charge per day during the course of its operations in North-West, East and Central London.
The Modec van features a 102 hp (76 kW), 300 Nm (221 lb-ft) drive motor. Modec started with twin parallel-wired 288-volt Zebra sodium-nickel-chloride battery packs, with a life span of around four years (1,000 full charging cycles.) Regenerative braking recharges the batteries in addition to grid charging, which takes 8 hours for a complete charge.
|Interior of a Modec battery pack. Click to enlarge.|
A Modec battery pack (50-100 kWh) sits amidships the purpose-built chassis in a drop-down cassette mounting which can be swapped out to avoid downtime while recharging. Modec leases the battery to its customers. The company signed a supply agreement in November 2007 with Axeon Holdings plc for lithium-ion iron phosphate packs and charging systems as well.
Modec says that over time, it will offer a variety of cassettes available with different ranges and performance.
Each zero emission vehicle can undertake one hundred miles on one overnight charge, with batteries in future models set to increase the range to 150 miles per two-three hour charge. Because it is an electric vehicle, it requires no road tax, MOT or tachograph and is not liable for the congestion charge.
As a company reliant on its mobile workforce, UPS continually evaluates developments in sustainable technology and proactively seeks opportunities to improve environmental performance. The company recently ordered 7 hydraulic diesel series hybrid delivery vehicles (HHV) in the US. (Earlier post.)
This order represents an important step towards making our fleet and operations more sustainable in the UK. At UPS, we have an ongoing commitment to reducing our carbon footprint, and we are continually assessing how to make the best use of alternatively fuelled vehicles on a global level.—Jim Barber, Managing Director, UPS UK & Ireland
UPS first tried electric vehicles in the 1930s in New York City.
UPS is the world’s largest package delivery company and a global leader in supply chain and freight services, with a daily delivery volume of 15.8 million packages.