UPS has announced it is to deploy a prototype extended range fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) as part of its Rolling Laboratory fleet of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles.
The first FCEV prototype will be on the streets of Sacramento, California, in Q3 2017, and UPS will evaluate its design and performance requirements.
UPS is working with the US Department of Energy (DOE) and other partners to design a zero tailpipe emissions, Class 6 medium-duty delivery truck that meets the same route and range requirements of UPS’s existing conventional fuel vehicles.
Unlike fuel cell auxiliary power units, the vehicle will use the onboard fuel cell to generate electricity to move the vehicle.
Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president global engineering and sustainability, said, “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.
“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.”
Each FCEV produces electricity which continuously charges the batteries, providing additional power and an extended range of 125 miles. The UPS trucks are equipped with a 32kW fuel cell joined to 45kWh of battery storage and 10kg of hydrogen fuel.
The drivetrain runs on electricity supplied by batteries. Unlike other fuel cell applications, this will support the full duty cycle of the truck, including highway driving.
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.
May 3, 2017