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UPS, NYSERDA project to convert UPS diesel delivery trucks to electric; UES 225 kW switched reluctance motor

UPS and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced that new technology will be developed to convert UPS package delivery vehicles from diesel to electric.

UPS and Unique Electric Solutions LLC (UES LLC) will design, build, test and make the conversions. NYSERDA is providing $500,000 in funding to develop and test the conversion system. If successful, the Bronx-based project is expected to bring a production version of the converted truck to the streets of New York City by Spring 2018.

In addition to producing a new, cost-effective all-electric conversion kit, the project will deliver a blueprint for converting up to three UPS vehicles a day. This could lead to the conversion of up to 1,500 UPS delivery trucks, which is about 66% of UPS’s NYC fleet, operating in New York City by 2022.

The conversions will be based on novel electric vehicle technology developed by Unique Electric Solutions. The core system features a 225 kW Switched Reluctance Motor (SRM) with a high voltage backbone optimized for the duty cycle of UPS delivery trucks.

UES’ uniqueEV product is targeted for the chassis used in shuttle buses, walk-in vans, delivery trucks, refrigerated trucks and service vehicles. The core system features a 225kW Switched Reluctance motor with a 600VDC backbone that can be configured with a number of battery types and sizes. uniqueEV can be provided as a kit or as a complete chassis for use on existing vehicles or new builds. Click to enlarge.

SRMs are simpler, cheaper and better suited for electric vehicles over conventional induction motors and do not rely on the use of magnets made from imported rare earth metals like permanent magnet motors do. Overall, the UES SRM propulsion system provides more miles per battery charge, reducing charging times and increasing energy efficiency up to 20%, UES says.

This project is part of UPS’s commitment to helping cities and states around the world reduce carbon and other tailpipe emissions as urban areas and e-commerce grow. UPS operates more than 770 electric or hybrid electric vehicles in urban settings around the world. They are part of a fleet of more than 8,500 alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles worldwide.

UPS recently set a goal that by 2020 one in four vehicles purchased annually will use alternative fuels or advanced technology. The company has invested more than $750 million in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and fueling stations globally since 2009.

UES LLC produces and upfits environmentally friendly electric propulsion and power systems for commercial trucks which reduce total cost of ownership. With 25+ years of know-how and with the world’s largest delivery fleet, United Parcel Service (UPS) as its partner-customer, UES is commercializing two products; a Class 5-7 all-electric drive system and an anti-idling system for Class 3-8 vehicles.

UES is currently focused on fleet operations in NYC while eyeing expansion to other large urban areas by 2019.



UPS gets it and that's good!


Would this be a better system for electric city buses as well? Is it scalable for smaller vehicles?


Vibration and noise apparently are issues with switched reluctance motors, although some noise may be desirable for EVs to alert pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles.

These issues are being addressed (search "noise level for switched reluctance motors").

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