UPS: Smart Charging Urban Logistics


  • Add 20 EVs to a fleet of over 70 vehicles, and increase facility electrical capacity using innovative smart-charging technologies in the UK.


  • Financing
    • Acquired government funds via innovation trial competition
  • Vehicle conversion
    • Existing diesel-powered vehicles were retrofitted by specialist supplier
  • Utility help
    • Designed and provided a smart-charging system leveraging an energy storage system
  • Looking to the future
    • Tracking to gauge potential of electrifying entire central London fleet, and replicate elsewhere


  • Vehicle energy requirements exceeded facility capacity
  • Utility tools for analyzing spare capacity were not yet developed
  • Grid infrastructure built with a ‘fit-and-forget’ mentality – requiring novel software systems and algorithms for load management

Key lessons and tips

  • Engage with utilities early
  • Smart-charging can reduce capital and operating expenses for EV transition
  • Future revenue may be accrued by leveraging the vehicle charge to help the grid system operator balance system load with demand
  • Fail-safe mechanisms are critical maintaining business continuity


  • Upgraded facility capacity allows UPS to electrify entire central London fleet (170 vehicles)
  • Project demonstrated that EVs are optimal, not just suitable

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