UPS Updates 125 Step Vans To Workhorse E-GEN Series Plug-In Hybrids

1 year ago by Mark Kane 11

UPS Purchases 125 Workhorse E-GEN Delivery Trucks

UPS Purchases 125 Workhorse E-GEN Delivery Trucks

Workhorse E-GEN drive

Workhorse E-GEN drive

UPS announced a new project of updating 125 step vans with new Workhorse E-GEN series hybrid drivetrains as part of the company’s broader Rolling Laboratory approach.

Deployment in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, Ohio and Texas is scheduled for later this year.

By the end of 2017, UPS intends to reach a total of 1 billion miles logged with alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. The company earlier experimented also with other type of plug-in vehicles.

The Workhorse E-GEN is equipped with a 200 kW Sumo electric motor and a 60 kWh battery pack (45 kWh usable) consisting of some familiar Panasonic 18650 cells, as well as a small 2-cylinder, 23 kW/30 hp engine.  So not the traditional plug-in hybrid we see in passenger vehicles with specific all-electric ranges, but rather a set-up to maximize economy over a delivery day.

“A compact, quiet-running 2-cylinder engine replaces a prior 4-cylinder engine to extend their range, improve performance and fuel efficiency. The updated trucks deliver significant fuel economy equivalency gains – up to four times the fuel economy of a gasoline-powered vehicle.”

More about the Workhorse Group’s E-GEN can be found here.

Carlton Rose, UPS Global Fleet Maintenance and Engineering president said:

“These vehicles are a great example of the impact our Rolling Lab approach is having. Our real-world testing of this new technology revealed opportunities to improve its performance and efficiency, which led to the development of a more advanced propulsion system.”

Steve Burns, CEO of Workhorse said:

“These low-emission trucks are designed specifically to meet the stop and start needs of UPS’s urban delivery routes, while driving unprecedented fuel and maintenance savings. This new system enables the vehicle to accommodate UPS’s typical route on battery energy and uses a very small internal combustion engine to add additional energy to the batteries when and if needed and eliminates range anxiety.”

Workhorse E-GEN drive

Workhorse E-GEN drive

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11 responses to "UPS Updates 125 Step Vans To Workhorse E-GEN Series Plug-In Hybrids"

  1. Anderlan says:

    It hurts to see heavy commercial trucks just throwing away gigawatt hours of braking energy everyday. The world needs this.

  2. Mike I says:

    This is a huge improvement over the diesel hybrid UPS truck that serves my office. That one cannot even move until the diesel starts up. The driver told me he has to take his foot off the brake fully 2 seconds before he wants to pull into traffic so that the engine has time to start so he can start moving.

  3. Samwise says:

    It’s interesing that UPS is quickly and quitely revolutionising trucking and almost nobody seems to have noticed…

  4. tedfredrick says:

    UPS trucks are so noisy. Hopefully this will help

  5. Rick Bronson says:

    Brilliant. Many bigger vehicles in China are already using full electric vehicles.

    Its good that UPS is going for at least a plugin vehicle.

    If a 2 cylinder engine can power a big van like this, then many of our small cars & crossovers can easily run with 1 cylinder engine.

    1. mr. M says:

      If you drive like a intown delivery service, sure.

    2. Liz in Texas says:

      It sounds like the engine does not power the truck at all. It sounds like it is a serial hybrid, with the engine only acting as a generator to charge batteries.

      1. Eco says:

        Via motors trucks are ‘series’ hybrids since there’s a motor driving the wheels and a separate generator coupled to the ICE. The UPS design is elegantly different, the two clutches allow the motor to work as a generator when the truck is parked, but the two clutches could be engaged to allow the ICE power through to the wheels when the battery is fully depleted!

  6. SJC says:

    “A compact, quiet-running 2-cylinder engine replaces a prior 4-cylinder engine to extend their range, improve performance and fuel efficiency.”

    I don’t believe going from a 100 kW four to a 23 kW two will improve performance, those trucks carry a lot of package weight.
    They could have done this 20 years ago with NiMH.

    1. Eco says:

      It’s the 200 kW electric motor that supplies the power for improved performance (not the ICE).
      They could NOT have done it with NiMH because Chevron-Texaco-Exxon won’t let you plug-in a NiMH battery pack to give its initial charge.

  7. Eco says:

    Ford, GM, Dodge … are you guys watching this? You could learn something!