UPS to Operate First-Ever Hydrogen Electric Class 6 Trucks
UPS Inc. announced it will deploy an extended-range hydrogen fuel cell electric Class 6 delivery truck operating in Sacramento, Calif., by the third quarter, saying it will be the first medium-duty truck of its kind.
The zero-emissions engine will be retrofitted on a 2006 International truck, and the prototype vehicle — part of its Rolling Laboratory — will meet the same route and range requirements of UPS’s existing conventional fuel vehicles, 125 miles, according to the company.
Sixteen additional Class 6 trucks are planned as part of the project, which includes a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, Atlanta-based UPS said.
All the vehicles will operate in California because of the state’s continuing investment in zero tailpipe emission transportation and installment of hydrogen fueling stations around the state, the company 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,” Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president global engineering and sustainability, said in a statement. “This project is an essential step to test the zero tailpipe emission technology and vehicle on the road for UPS and the transportation industry.”
The trucks are equipped with a 32 kilowatt-hour fuel cell coupled to 4 kilowatt-hour of battery storage and 10 kilograms of hydrogen fuel. The drive train runs on electricity supplied by batteries. Unlike other fuel cell applications, this will support the full duty cycle of the truck, including highway driving, according to UPS.
UPS has invested more than $750 million in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and fueling stations globally since 2009, the company said.
UPS ranks No. 1 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.