Freightliner Custom Chassis all-electric walk-in vans join UPS fleet

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC), a longtime leader in developing alternative fuel propulsion chassis, has delivered two of its all-electric MT E-CELL walk-in vans to UPS.

Georgia-based UPS will deploy the zero-fuel-usage, zero-emissions vehicles in its fleet serving Laguna Hills, Calif.

"As an early developer of all-electric vehicle chassis technology, FCCC remains committed to engineering products that help companies meet their environmental goals," said Mike Stark, FCCC senior technical sales manager, national accounts. "UPS's addition of the MT E-CELL to its fleet is a powerful validation of both the technology and this vehicle's reliability and durability in the most demanding real-world applications."

Built on FCCC's popular MT-45 chassis, the MT E-CELL combines advances in body and drivetrain technology with the productivity advantages of a traditional walk-in van.

"After promising results with the prototype all-electric vehicle, we are looking forward to getting similar production with these vehicles making real deliveries to our customers every day," said Mike Britt, UPS's director of maintenance and engineering international operations ground fleet. "Continuing to invest in fuel-efficient technology is a part of our overall environmental strategy."

An all-electric single speed drive motor, powered by lithium-ion batteries offering 55.5 kilowatt hours of usable energy, provides the MT E-CELL with a driving range of up to 90 miles per charge. The system recharges through a standard 30 amp, 220V outlet and requires just six to eight hours to fully recharge from a completely discharged state.

Further efficiency is achieved through the MT E-CELL's distinctive Morgan Olson body. Constructed with high-strength, fully recyclable composite panels and an all-aluminum floor, the MT E-CELL body is 500 lbs lighter than a conventional walk-in van body, but still boasts a 700 cu. ft. capacity that ranks it among the largest all-electric vehicles on the road. Aerodynamic front-end styling includes a one-piece bonded windshield that increases visibility, an integrated wiper and cowl design, and a soft bumper cover.

Additionally, the MT E-CELL features a finished cockpit design including an integrated HVAC system, dash messaging system and automotive interior trim panels.

As a member of the MT-45 chassis family, the MT E-CELL carries a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of up to 15,000 lbs.

"The MT E-CELL is ideal for fleets with set routes in pickup and delivery applications, and is capable of making up to 200 stops a day," said Gordie Taylor, FCCC commercial chassis product manager. "And as a walk-in van, it maintains clear advantages over standard box trucks."

Maneuverability, convenient cab-to-cargo access and curbside entry and exit are among the key benefits that fleets realize from walk-in vans when compared with standard box trucks.

UPS also operates FCCC hybrid-electric chassis, compressed natural gas (CNG) chassis, gasoline chassis and MT-45 and MT-55 clean diesel chassis.

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