UPS Camden depot to be a “testbed” for electric vehicle technology
UPS is set to increase the number of electric vehicles operating from its Camden depot in central London depots by almost 50%. The project, which has been awarded funding of £3m to help improve London’s air quality, will see the Camden depot become a testbed for leading edge technology aimed at reducing the cost of charging freight electric vehicles.
Working with UK Power Networks, UPS will increase the number of electric freight vehicles operating in the fleet from 50 to 70 – and pave the way for running more than 150 vehicles from the site.
Up until now, fleet operators would typically need to pay for significant upgrades to add capacity to their existing power supply from the network, to meet their new EV charging demand. However, a series of measures being trialled by UK Power Networks is aiming to bring that cost down.
By charging the fleet at night, UPS is able to take advantage of troughs in demand for energy and avoid overloading the network during times of peak demand. UK Power Networks is developing software that help to assess how many electric vehicles can safely charge at any one time.
The project, funded by Innovate UK, will also seek to use battery energy storage to support EV charging. The vehicles will be charged directly from the network outside of peak times, and the battery will step in to charge the vehicles when demand for electricity in the local area is high.
Tobi Babalola, of the UK Power Networks Innovation Team, said: “This project is going to lead the way for improving London’s air quality by helping to get more low emission vehicles onto our roads at lower cost. It will deliver insights that will inform the entire electricity industry at a key moment for electric vehicle technology.”
Peter Harris, Director of Sustainability, UPS Europe, added: “UPS has a long heritage of deploying more sustainable alternative fuels and advanced technology – reducing its carbon footprint and progressing its green strategy. Electric vehicles are a major component within our alternative fuel fleet and this partnership with UK Power Networks has the potential to transform the way we charge our electric vehicles in London. If successful, it will almost certainly be a key enabler for UPS to electrify its other fleets in the UK and beyond.”