UPS updates 125 Workhorse E-GEN series hybrid electric step vans with smaller genset engine for better fuel economy
UPS announced an update to 125 Workhorse E-GEN series hybrid electric delivery trucks that improve fuel economy as part of the company’s broader Rolling Laboratory approach.
A compact, quiet-running 650cc 2-cylinder engine replaces the previous 2.4L 4-cylinder engine; charging capability remains the same, as does the electric range. The smaller engine will improve fuel economy, however. The updated trucks, which were originally purchased in September 2015, deliver up to four times the fuel economy of a gasoline-powered vehicle, UPS said. The trucks will be deployed in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, Ohio and Texas later this year.
The original 2015 E-GEN Drive was propelled by a 200 kW Sumo electric motor/generator (from tm4 Electrodynamic Systems) with a 60 kWh pack (45 kWh usable) built with Panasonic 18650 Li-ion cells. A small 23 kW/30 hp, 2100 N·m PSI 2.4-liter internal combustion engine (ICE) served as the genset engine. The small ICE could be outfitted for gasoline, propane, or CNG.
The updated E-GEN chassis with the integrated 650cc engine by Workhorse Group, Inc., a Cincinnati-based company, was announced by Carlton Rose, UPS Global Fleet Maintenance and Engineering president at the annual Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in Long Beach, Calif.
The trucks were purchased under UPS’ commitment to log 1 billion miles with alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles by the end of 2017.
Workhorse and AMP Electric Vehicles. AMP Electric Vehicles was established in 2007 as a developmental-stage vehicle electrification company. It first added battery-electric power to the GM Sky two-seat roadster. (Earlier post.) Subsequently, the company created electrification packages for the Chevrolet Equinox SUV, the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Mercedes Benz ML350.
AMP Electric Vehicles went public in 2010. When the economic benefits of conversion became less certain, the company pivoted away from passenger vehicles and began to focus on electrifying commercial vehicles. This led to a development agreement with Navistar. Under the development agreement, the initial project was to re-power a 1,000 cubic foot delivery van. The first vehicle was delivered to them in August of 2012 and successfully passed Navistar’s requirements and performance test. (Earlier post.)
Navistar’s top management changed at the same time the project vehicle passed its performance test and Navistar tabled the electrification project. AMP began to work directly with the end-user.
AMP acquired the Workhorse brand and the Workhorse Custom Chassis assembly plant in Union City, in March 2015. The asset acquisition made the company an OEM and enabled the company to manufacture new, medium-duty truck chassis in the 14,500 to 23,500 GVW class.
In March of 2015, AMP formally changed its name to Workhorse Group Incorporated.