With 100,000 trucks worldwide, you can bet UPS has a hefty fuel bill, so they're taking a keen interest in electric vehicles. And if there's a UPS depot on your co-op's lines, that could mean big changes.
"We have systematically gone after all kinds of alternative fuels: liquid natural gas, natural gas, propane, electric. Anything out there in the way of alternative fuels, we have tried it," said Jim Bruce, a UPS senior vice president.
"We're very interested and driven to get into EVs."
So much so that before Tesla has even produced a single electric semi truck, UPS has ordered 125, which "is more than anyone else has ordered," Bruce told this month's Smart Electric Power Association's Grid Evolution Summit in Washington. Tesla says each truck has a range of 300 or 500 miles, depending on the model, and will save $200,000 in fuel over a two-year payback period.
As for the smaller brown delivery trucks more common to local streets, Bruce said UPS and Workhorse are working on electric versions.
If your electric cooperative serves a UPS depot, here's what the company sees in its crystal ball.
"Our vision is that we would have installations with 50, 100 heavy tractor-trailers, maybe 50 or 100 delivery vehicles, all battery-operated," said Bruce. "And this is at one site, because we don't charge over the road. All of our trucks come back at night."
But there's more to it.
"It is clear to us that if you're going to have that many heavy- or medium-duty trucks that are battery-operated, you need to invent new charging infrastructure."
Bruce added that UPS envisions these hubs having "our own solar arrays, will have renewable energy being integrated into the system through microgrids, and battery storage—be it on station or using our electric trucks themselves as battery storage."