The logistics & delivery corporation UPS plans to spearhead a project to explore the way Artificial Intelligence systems can optimise charging electric vehicle fleets and integrate onsite renewables to reduce emissions and energy costs.
The EV Fleet-Centred Local Energy Systems (EFLES) project is scheduled to start in May at UPS’s Camden depot. UK Power Networks Services will provide oversight, while Moixa is to contribute their GridShare AI platform to manage solar, storage and charging assets.
“We have the global expertise, smart-charging infrastructure and resources to host this first-of-a-kind testbed at our Camden facility,” said UPS sustainable development coordinator Claire Thompson-Sage, before adding: “This project will build on our EV infrastructure technology to help develop a holistic local energy system.”
Moixa’s software solution Gridshare will be instrumental in the management of the power system, as the company writes that the software can keep track of hundreds of data sources and “analyse data sources for energy prices, power demand, weather conditions and more” to help optimise power usage and grid stability. This way they aim to charge when power is cheapest and the mix of renewable energy sources is highest in concentration.
The timing for the project couldn’t be better for UPS: Only last month, the logistics giant announced their investment in Arrival and the plan to purchase a total of 10,000 electric vans over the next four years. The vehicles will be integrated into fleets in Europe and the USA. In combination with their already existing fleet of various electrified vehicles, there will be a lot of batteries to charge in their fleet. This is also not the start for UPS relationship with Arrival, as the UK electric vehicle manufacturer previously developed the electric transporter together with UPS.
This project builds on the Smart Electric Urban Logistics initiative, in which UPS was involved alongside UK Power Networks and Cross River Partnership, which kicks off on 1 May.