UPS will begin deploying its first electric hydrogen fuel-cell range-extended (REx) delivery trucks this September in Sacramento, California.
The new delivery trucks, which are being designed in partnership with the US DOE and others, are intended to meet the same route and range standards as the company’s internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.
The new trucks are outfitted with 45 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery packs paired with a 32 kW hydrogen fuel cell (with 10 kilograms of hydrogen fuel storage). The fuel cell allows for an extended range of around 125 miles. The hydrogen fuel cell is used simply to charge the battery pack (continuously), which runs the drivetrain.
The current pilot project plans in California call for at least 5,000 hours of in-service operation, which will presumably let the company know, in depth, how well the trucks work in the field.
“The challenge we face with fuel cell technology is to ensure the design can meet the unique operational demands of our delivery vehicles on a commercial scale,” commented Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president global engineering and sustainability. “This project is an essential step to test the zero tailpipe emissions technology and vehicle on the road for UPS and the transportation industry. We have a long history of developing and promoting the use of more sustainable alternative fuels with our Rolling Laboratory, and hope that by bringing our unique expertise to the development of hydrogen fuels, we can help advance the technology.”
The press release provides more: “The project is part of a fuel cell project grant awarded by DOE in 2013 focused on verifying the proof of concept in commercial delivery vehicles. UPS is committed to evaluating these technologies that support the nation’s energy security, fuel diversity, and economic growth priorities. The project calls for retrofitting conventional fuel trucks with fuel cell electric systems designed specifically for use in a delivery truck duty cycle. UPS is partnering with the Center for Transportation and the Environment as well as Unique Electric Solutions LLC and the University of Texas’ Center for Electromechanics.”
For information on some of the other alternative fuel and energy projects of UPS, see: “UPS Debuts Use Of Delivery eTrike In US” and “UPS Announces $18 Million Investment In Onsite Solar Energy, 5x Onsite Solar Growth.”
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