UPS announced that it is working with UK-based technology firm Arrival to develop a pilot fleet of 35 electric delivery vehicles (EVs) to be trialed in London and Paris. UPS said these zero tailpipe emission, lightweight composite vehicles have a battery range of more than 150 miles (240 km).
“UPS is working with Arrival here in the UK because their smart electric vehicles are helping to reduce dependency on fossil fuel. This is a pioneering collaboration that helps UPS develop new ways to reduce our emissions,” said Luke Wake, international director for automotive engineering in the advanced technology group at UPS.
UPS said Arrival is the first commercial vehicle manufacturer in Europe to provide purpose-built electric delivery vehicles to UPS’s specifications. Since 2016, UPS and Arrival have been developing prototypes of different sizes, and the first vehicles are expected to be deployed on the road before the end of this year.
“We’re excited to collaborate with UPS to create an affordable, modular, fully electric delivery vehicle designed to make deliveries in our busy cities clean and quiet,” said Denis Sverdlov, CEO of Arrival. “With its unique, wrap-around front window the driver has a much wider field of view that improves not only the safety of the driver but also that of cyclists and pedestrians.”
With more than 9000 vehicles worldwide operating using alternative propulsion methods, UPS possesses one of the largest private and most diverse alternative fuel and advanced technology fleets in the entire logistics industry.
“This initiative will help UPS attain its global carbon reduction goals for the company’s facilities and fleets,” said Peter Harris, director for sustainability at UPS Europe.
Last month UPS announced that it had installed a radical new charging technology at its central London depot in Camden that overcomes the challenge of simultaneously recharging an entire fleet of EVs without the need for an expensive upgrade to the power supply grid.
UPS said it currently, UPS has more than 300 electric vehicles deployed in Europe and the U.S., and nearly 700 hybrid electric vehicles. Recently, UPS announced plans to deploy 50 plug-in electric delivery trucks that will be comparable in acquisition cost to conventional-fueled trucks. The company is also collaborating with Workhorse Group, Inc. to design the vehicles from the ground up, with zero tailpipe emissions. And, last December, UPS ordered 125 new fully-electric semi-tractors to be built by Tesla in 2019, the largest pre-order to date.
Additionally, last September, UPS announced it will become the first commercial customer in the U.S. to start using three medium-duty electric trucks from Daimler Trucks Fuso brand, called the eCanter.