(DGIwire) – Fueling transportation with electricity rather than petroleum can significantly reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants that threaten our environment and health. That is the conclusion of a major new study jointly conducted by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), as recently reported on the NRDC website. Among its findings, the report says that advancing policies that accelerate adoption of electric vehicles will put us on the road to a clean energy future and improve air quality as well.
UPS demonstrated its affinity with this goal in September 2015, when it announced in a press release that it had purchased 125 new-technology hybrid electric delivery trucks from Cincinnati-based Workhorse Group Inc., which manufactures electric drive systems for commercial trucks and can equip them with electric engines. The UPS delivery trucks can deliver up to four times the fuel economy of a gasoline-powered vehicle—compared to a 10-15 percent improvement with previous hybrid designs—and will be deployed in Arizona, Texas, Nevada, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida in the first half of 2016.
“There is a distinct and growing market for alternative propulsion systems that reduce environmental impact, reduce operating costs and save fuel,” says Steve Burns, CEO of Workhorse Group. “We believe our technology can play a significant role in bringing these valuable goals to fruition.”
Workhorse’s patent-pending, EPA-approved, E-GEN Drive uses a combination of battery power and a small internal combustion engine to more than double the miles per gallon attained by a typical fleet vehicle. Several design features make the E-GEN drive train unique: E-GEN is propelled by a 200 kW electric motor/generator with a 60 kWh pack built with Panasonic 18650 lithium-ion on cells. It is powerful enough to eliminate the need for a transmission and, if the battery state of charge falls below a predetermined level, and the vehicle is in PARK, a small, 2.4-liter internal engine automatically turns on and powers the motor to recharge the battery to its required level. The small engine can be outfitted for gasoline, propane or compressed natural gas.
“This technology offers several benefits to the user,” adds Burns. “Range anxiety is eliminated, cold weather operations are not affected, the system costs far less than an all-electric system, and the life of the battery is extended, since the management software keeps its state of charge well within the optimal range. The E-GEN drive is designed to allow a cleaner, greener future for all of us.”