In London, UPS is slowly replacing all of its 170 diesel-guzzling brown trucks with fully electric vehicles.
The company believes the time, effort and financial costs associated with the plan are well worth it. “It is being made very clear to us by cities, national governments, the E.U. and beyond that the conventional diesel truck is no longer what they want,” Peter Harris, director of sustainability for UPS Europe, told The New York Times.
In the U.K., about one-third of the transportation sector’s carbon-dioxide emissions come from freight vehicles like UPS trucks. Unlike diesel vehicles, electric trucks don’t emit dangerous fumes into the air.
UPS has converted about one-third of its fleet so far, and the change may ultimately help its bottom line. Many cities with poor air quality, like London, assess an extra tax on companies that use diesel trucks. By going electric, UPS won’t have to pay these fees.
The company has, of course, encountered obstacles, including:
- Finding enough electric trucks to meet its needs
- Paying to convert existing diesel trucks into electric ones
- Taxing London’s power grid when all of the vehicles are charged at once
But with the help of the British government, which has paid for half of the $3.4 million tab, UPS is slowly overcoming some of these challenges.
We wish them the best. Hopefully, more companies with gas-guzzling vehicles and governments across the world will see that going all–electric is a win-win for everyone.
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