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UK Power Network and UPS
Case study

UK Power Network Services and UPS

UK Power Networks implemented a new smart electric vehicle charging system, powering UPS’ central London delivery fleet without having to upgrade the power supply grid.

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Background

UPS is a global leader in logistics, offering services including freight, facilitating international trade, and deploying advanced technology to manage businesses more efficiently. UPS is committed to growing their electric vehicle (EV) fleet at their central London depot as part of their sustainability strategy, needing efficient charging systems to power the fleets.

Freight electric vans can use up to 10 times as much power as a typical home when charging, which is a significant demand on the depot’s electricity supply. UPS’ requirements for the project were to allow the electrification of its 170-vehicle depot fleet, and appointed UK Power Networks Services to design, deliver and operate an economical and sustainable smart-grid solution.

Process

UK Power Networks Services’ in-house Technology Consulting team, who are experienced in developing and implementing state-of-the-art power systems solutions, recommended the implementation of a smart grid system. This allows all UPS vehicles to charge without the need for network reinforcement.

This began the Smart Electric Urban Logistics project with funding from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), between 2017 and 2019, in partnership with UPS, UKPN and Cross River Partnership.

Results

The solution comprises of an Active Network Management system that monitors demand required by the site and controls the vehicle charging and scheduling. This ensures vehicles are fully charged for the following day’s deliveries.

The smart grid system implementation allowed UPS to:

  • Increase the number of 7.5 tonne electric trucks operating from its London site from 65 to 170.
  • Deploy a fully electric fleet in central London, with half the connection capacity that was originally thought to be required, avoiding network reinforcement.
  • Save costs further through the system incorporated additional functionality through energy storage system, which converts and inverts power based on tariff requirements.
  • Ensure the ongoing continuity of businesses operations.

“We’re proud of our partnership with UPS to deliver the integration of next generation smart charging. It is a great example of how we’re using innovative solutions to help businesses integrate electric vehicles into their fleets and optimise their existing infrastructure.”

-Kieran Coughlan, head of strategic advisory services at UK Power Networks Services.

UPS are continuing to accelerate their transition to a zero-emission fleet. The company has committed to buying 10,000 electric delivery vans from start-up to be rolled out as part of their fleet.

Find out more here.

Last updated: 30 June 2022