Smart Electric Urban Logistics

Exploring smart charging technology for electric freight vehicles, the Smart Electric Urban Logistics project is led by UPS with project partners Cross River Partnership and UK Power Networks

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The global logistics company UPS is committed to greening its delivery fleet, but the lack of electric freight vehicles and electric infrastructure restrictions have held it back. Smart Electric Urban Logistics provides an innovative set of solutions which will support this change and make a vital contribution to cutting emissions in central London. It will also provide a scalable set of outputs which other logistics and freight operators can implement to improve their vehicle fleets and ultimately the environment.

A trial of electric vehicles forms the centre piece, with real duty cycles providing evidence for emissions reduction versus existing diesel fuel use. Instead of disruptive infrastructure improvement work, the project will focus on smart charging and making best use of existing supply through efficient use. An innovative time variance tool will provide a key mechanism for delivering efficiency, and this will help to create additional capacity in electrical supply with short lead-in times.

A five year strategy for the electrification of UPS’s entire central London fleet of 170 vehicles will result, moving the company towards its green objectives and providing an exemplar and real-world data for other UK organisations interested in the electrification of vehicles.

The Smart Electric Urban Logistics project is part of the Low Emission Freight and Logistics Trial, funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) in partnership with Innovate UK.

In January 2017,  OLEV announced that 20 trial projects were to receive funding of £20m to demonstrate new technologies and to encourage the widespread introduction of low and zero emission vehicles to UK commercial fleets. The Low Emission Freight and Logistics Trial will help the UK meet its CO2 reduction targets – and represents another step towards the government’s target for all new cars and vans to be zero emission by 2040.

In March 2018, the smart charging system went live, with coverage in mainstream and trade media:

Financial Times: UPS moves to using only electric vehicles in London

Air Quality News: UPS to upgrade entire central London fleet to electric

OLEV logo

CRP Team members

Tanja Dalle-Muenchmeyer

Principal Programme Manager

Susannah Wilks


Carol Quamina

Operations Manager

Tom Linton-Smith

Deliver London Project Manager

Project stats

Fully electric delivery trucks in central London
Develop highly innovative smart charging system
Design and implement a sophisticated electricity network capacity assessment tool

Project partners