Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Sourcing Renewables - March 20, 2018
UPS premiers smart grid EV charging technology
UPS announced on Mar. 19 that, as part of a consortium, they have deployed a new charging technology in London that overcomes the challenge of simultaneously recharging an entire fleet of electric vehicles (EVs) without the need for the expensive upgrade to the power supply grid.
In a statement, UPS said, "The breakthrough signals the beginning of the end of a reliance upon traditional combustion engine powered vehicles by allowing UPS to increase the number of EVs operating from its central London site from the current limit of 65 to all 170 trucks based there."
This advance is the result of the company’s participation in the "Smart Electric Urban Logistics (SEUL)" project with UK Power Networks and Cross River Partnership, with funding secured from the UK’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles.
“UPS thinks this is a world first, right in the heart of a mega-city. We are using new technology to work around some big obstacles to electric vehicle deployment, heralding a new generation of sustainable urban delivery services both here in London and in other major cities around the world,” said Peter Harris, director of sustainability, UPS Europe. “Electric vehicles are an integral component within UPS’s alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet. Our collaboration with UK Power Networks and Cross River Partnership marks a major turning point in the cost-effective deployment of electric vehicles which in turn will play a key role in ensuring the global trend toward urbanization is sustainable. We are applying new technology to make the charging process smarter and our delivery service cleaner.”
UPS explained that the system adopts an “intelligent” approach to charging by spreading this throughout the night so that the building can use the power it needs to run the business of logistics (lights, sortation machinery and IT) and ensure that all EVs are fully charged by the time they are needed in the morning, but at the same time never exceed the maximum power available from the grid.
A key part of this initiative is the use of onsite energy storage batteries. While new batteries have been deployed at this stage, UPS noted that “in the future, these could be second-life batteries that have already been used in a UPS EV. Together with the smart-grid, this will pave the way toward a UPS EV infrastructure strategy that can dynamically make use of a conventional power upgrade, a smart grid, onsite storage, and in many cases, local power generation including solar and other alternative sources.”
"This trailblazing solution has enabled UPS to increase their electric vehicle fleet without upgrading their network connection, paving the way for future electrification of delivery vehicles in our cities,” said Ian Smyth of UK Power Networks Services.
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