Global delivery giant UPS is to increase the number of electric delivery trucks it uses in London by 40%, following an investment of £3 million in smart charging infrastructure in association with UK Power Networks.
The project, funded by Innovate UK, will incorporate battery energy storage at UPS’ depot in Kentish Town, north London, so that charging doesn’t put too much strain on the local power grid during peak times.
The vehicles will be charged directly from the network outside of peak times, with the battery taking over the charging when electricity demand increases in the local area.
The upgrades will mean that up to 150 electric vehicles can operate from the North London depot, three times the amount of UPS electric trucks currently operating in the city, making way for even more to join the fleet in the future.
Tobi Babalola, of the UK Power Networks Innovation Team, said, “This project is helping to get more low emission vehicles onto our roads at lower cost. It will deliver insights that will inform the entire electricity industry at a key moment for electric vehicle technology.
“Electric vehicles are likely to have a significant impact on the way that people consume energy, which is why it’s so important that we embrace the latest technology to maximise the efficiency of our energy network.”
Peter Harris, Director of Sustainability, UPS Europe, added, “UPS has a long heritage of deploying more sustainable alternative fuels and advanced technology – reducing its carbon footprint and progressing its green strategy.
“Electric vehicles are a major component within our alternative fuel fleet and this partnership with UK Power Networks has the potential to transform the way we charge our electric vehicles in London. If successful, it will almost certainly be a key enabler for UPS to electrify its other fleets in the UK and beyond.”
The 29 additional electric trucks, in UPS’s distinctive brown and gold livery, will go into service before the end of the year.