UPS is adding 100 all-electric delivery vehicles to its California fleet. With a range of around 75 miles, they will primarily be used for dropping off packages in the Sacramento, San Bernardino, Ceres, Fresno and Bakersfield regions and reportedly will reduce the consumption of conventional motor fuel by approximately 126,000 gallons per year.
Seen as one of the largest deployments ever of zero emissions electric commercial vehicles in the world, it comes about as part of a goal by California’s governor Jerry Brown to achieve widespread deployment of these types of trucks throughout the state. It was originally announced by UPS in August of 2011 that they were going electric in Calif., with an estimated deployment time of the following January, but that looks to have been pushed back somewhat given we are just hearing about their debut now.
The walk-in vans, manufactured by Stockton, Calif.-based Electric Vehicles International, look to have gotten funded at least in part by the Environmental Protection Agency. The Sacramento Bee reports they cost around $150,000 a pop, which is three times the cost of a regular diesel truck. They should be less expensive to operate, however, so the return on investment will likely occur at a decent rate.
UPS, which is taking part in a initiative kicked off by President Obama a few years back called the National Clean Fleets Partnership, said to date it operates more than 2,500 alternative fuel vehicles worldwide with a variety of hybrid, electric and natural gas technologies. As of mid-2011, this worldwide green fleet racked up an impressive 200 million miles of travel since the year 2000.
“These all-electric vehicles remind us that California continues to be a dynamic center of innovation,” said Governor Brown in a statement. “These trucks were built here, they’ll be driven here and they’re already changing the way business is done here – cutting emissions and eliminating the need for tanker trucks worth of fossil fuels.”