If you are in business, it’s all about the bottom line. Saving the world is all well and good, but not if it means lower profits. Workhorse has begun field trials of its hybrid delivery vans and the results are nothing short of amazing. In normal real world driving, these vans get between 5 and 8 miles per gallon. Workhorse says its hybrid electric E-GEN powertrain should be more efficient, but by how much?

Workhorse E-GEN hybrid delivery van powertrain

It has supplied 125 E-GEN equipped delivery vans to UPS. Those vans were recently placed in service in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, Ohio and Texas. Workhorse monitors the performance of each system with an advanced telematics system it calls METRON — a proof-of-performance application that makes it possible for fleet managers to monitor and manage the performance of the vehicles in their fleet in near real time via a wireless 4G cellular network connection.

The vans have now completed the first 250,000 miles of service and the results are in. No salesman hyper-speak or puffery. No pie in the sky predictions. The data doesn’t lie and it shows the hybrid electric vans have achieved an astounding 30 MPGe rating in daily, real life, stop and go operation. At that rate, Workhorse calculates each van will save the owner $165,000 during its lifetime compared to a conventional van.

Of course the Workhorse version costs more to buy. How much more is not known. But lets assume, for the sake of discussion, the additional cost is $25,000 per vehicle. That means the net savings to the UPS or any other fleet operator during the life of the vehicle will pencil out to $140,000. How many of those dark brown delivery vans do you think UPS has in its fleet? The company says it has 104,926 package cars, vans, tractor trailers, and motorcycles.

Again, for the sake of discussion, let’s say 90,000 of those vehicles are delivery vans. Multiply $140,000 savings by 90,000 vehicles and you get total savings of $12.6 billion over their useful life. Hello? Do we have your attention yet?

“By achieving 30 MPGe with over 125 medium-duty trucks on the road, Workhorse is setting a new standard with our electric delivery vehicles,” says Steve Burns, Workhorse CEO. “Medium-duty local delivery trucks are the backbone of the Last Mile delivery system and a six-fold fuel economy increase, as well as reduced maintenance, and zero or near-zero emissions are a major change to the conventional delivery system.”

The Workhorse E-GEN is equipped with a 200 kW Sumo electric motor and a 60 kWh battery pack (45 kWh usable). It uses the familiar Panasonic 18650 cells — the same cells used in the Tesla battery pack. It also has a 2 cylinder internal combustion engine rated at 30 horsepower.

“These low-emission trucks are designed specifically to meet the stop and start needs of UPS’s urban delivery routes, while driving unprecedented fuel and maintenance savings. This new system enables the vehicle to accommodate UPS’s typical route on battery energy and uses a very small internal combustion engine to add additional energy to the batteries when and if needed and eliminates range anxiety,” says Burns.

The METRON system works in both directions. Workhorse can download software updates directly over the air to each vehicle. So from now on, that UPS van you see on the road today and the Tesla Model S you are craving will have something important in common.

Related: Electric Truck Overview — Electric Light-Duty Trucks, Medium-Duty Trucks, & Heavy-Duty Trucks

Source: Next Generation Technology 

Photo Credit: Workhorse