UPS’s Investment In Breakthrough Lower-Emissions Tech Zaps The E-Vehicle Range Challenge In The UK

GB 09/03/19

Birmingham and Southampton

  • Cities previously out of pure electric vehicle range can now benefit from cleaner, quieter fleet with new hybrid technology
  • Innovative new vehicles gain four times more range to connect inner-city distribution centres to out-of-town depots
  • Advanced technology developed in collaboration with TEVVA allows vehicles to automatically switch to zero emissions electric power when entering urban areas and clean air zones

UPS (NYSE:UPS) today introduced a new line of range-extended electric vehicles (REEVs) to its fleets serving Birmingham and Southampton, UK, to overcome the range limitations of pure electric vehicles within the logistics industry.

“This is a big breakthrough for our continued use of electric vehicles in the UK – and for the communities we serve,” says Luke Wake, director of automotive engineering & advanced technology, UPS International. “The range jump from 100km to 400km is the result of UPS’s latest collaboration with TEVVA. We can serve our customers with lower emission, alternatively-fuelled vehicles in places beyond the reach of existing pure electric vehicles at this weight class. Since 2009, UPS has invested more than $1 billion in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and fueling stations globally. But news like this really brings home the evolution of our rolling laboratory – you can now actually see progress like this out on the roads in and out of Birmingham and Southampton.”

The new REEVs operate using groundbreaking hybrid electric vehicle technology, which increases route range whilst maintaining the cargo capacity of traditional diesel vehicles of the same weight class.

“Commercial vehicles account for 27% of transport related CO2 and 5% of total greenhouse gas emissions on Europe’s roads. EU legislation says that this needs to be cut by 15% by 2025 and 30% by 2030, and Net Zero in the UK by 2050,” said Richard Lidstone-Scott, commercial director, TEVVA Motors Ltd. “What that means is that the electrification of the medium duty truck sector is inevitable, yet many firms and OEMs are still scratching their heads about how and when to make that happen. At TEVVA we already have viable technology, proven in real-world trials, which can help companies like UPS reduce emissions to almost zero without compromising their business-critical ability to carry full payloads. What’s more, we’re already working on new technologies to make our solution more efficient still.”

The REEVs use geofencing technology to automatically switch to pure electric mode when reaching a predetermined boundary, such as prior to entering an urban environment or clean air zone. This same technology allows the vehicle to switch to the on-board Range Extender that utilises a significantly smaller and efficient diesel engine to recharge the battery, such as on the motorway connecting neighbouring towns and cities or to make a journey back to the UPS depot.

The vehicles were developed in conjunction with electric vehicle specialists TEVVA and part-funded by The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and Innovate UK. They form part of UPS’s “rolling laboratory” strategy to develop a variety of alternative fuel vehicles, using continuous evaluation and experimentation to ensure that the company reduces its carbon footprint with solutions best suited to each specific environment.  

The new vehicles solve a problem faced by many companies operating in cities, including Birmingham and Southampton, where warehouses and depots are often based further from the city centre. The current generation of 7.5 tonne electric delivery vehicles have an average range of 100km, which is often not far enough to reach urban drop off points. Instead, the REEVs can travel an average combined power range of 400km, whilst still ensuring they make zero emissions within the urban areas on their routes.

With a cubic capacity of 23M³, the REEVs also maintain the operational efficiency of high-volume package delivery vehicles. This avoids the need for a greater number of smaller capacity electric vehicles carrying the same number of packages, in turn reducing congestion on the roads.

Notes to editors:

  • The bespoke REEV solution consists of a high-performance electric powertrain with an in series Hybrid combination, utilising a significantly smaller and efficient diesel engine that can provide additional range when needed. The vehicles are equipped with a 150kW electric motor that provides an electronically limited ability of up to 2000Nm of torque. The powertrain is supported by a Lithium Ion 74kWh battery that will provide an operational EV range in excess of 100km.
  • 10 REEVs have entered UPS’s delivery fleet in our Tamworth depot and an additional 5 in Southampton. Both depots serve locations where the distance from the warehouse to the urban area served is high. Birmingham is set to introduce a clean air zone in its city centre by 2020.
  • UPS has a long history with electric vehicles, having first introduced them into its fleet in the U.S. in the 1930s, and reintroduced modern EVs in 2001. Currently, UPS has more than 10,000 alternative fuel vehicles, including electric vehicles, and e-assist cycles, deployed around the world. In 2018, UPS announced that it is working with UK-based technology firm ARRIVAL to develop a state-of-the-art pilot fleet of 35 electric delivery vehicles to be trialled in London and Paris. And, in December 2017, UPS ordered 125 new fully electric semi-tractors to be built by Tesla, the largest pre-order to date.
  • Since 2009, UPS has invested more than $1 billion in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and fueling stations globally. And, in 2016, a full year earlier than expected, UPS achieved its self-set goal of covering 1 billion miles (1.6 billion km) using its fleet of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles.

About Tevva Motors Ltd:

Tevva Motors Ltd was established in 2013 to become a global leader in electric powered commercial vehicles. Tevva strives to increase the range, payload and cost efficiency of the back-to-base delivery fleet market, which is ideally suited to EVs. Given ongoing changes to clean air regulations, achieving zero emissions has never been more important for fleets. Tevva’s precision engineering approach has helped develop a range of innovative eTruck technologies that, combined, can lower harmful emissions to zero or almost zero, decrease vehicle running costs by at least half, reduce TCO and eliminate range anxiety.

About UPS

UPS (NYSE: UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including transporting packages and freight; facilitating international trade, and deploying advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. UPS is committed to operating more sustainably – for customers, the environment and the communities we serve around the world. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. UPS was awarded America’s Best Customer Service company for Shipping and Delivery services by Newsweek magazine; Fortune magazine’s Most Valuable Brand in Transportation; and top rankings on the JUST 100 list for social responsibility, the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, and the Harris Poll Reputation Quotient, among other prestigious rankings and awards. The company can be found on the web at  or  and its corporate blog can be found at The company’s sustainability eNewsletter, UPS Horizons, can be found at . Learn more about our sustainability efforts at . To get UPS news direct, follow @UPS_News on Twitter. To ship with UPS, visit


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UPS Public Relations