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UPS Will Add 10,000 Electric Delivery Trucks to Its Fleet

UPS is moving from brown to green.

Getting aggressive about employing alternative fuels, UPS, through its venture capital arm, UPS Ventures, has taken a minority stake in Arrival, a startup that makes electric vehicle (EV) platforms and purpose-built vehicles. Already, UPS has committed to purchasing 10,000 of the less impactful vehicles.

The investment, the amount of which was not revealed, allows UPS priority access to purchase additional electric vehicles. UPS will also collaborate with Arrival to develop a wide range of electric vehicles with Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS). The technology is designed to increase safety and operating efficiencies, including the potential for automated movements in UPS depots. UPS said it will initiate testing ADAS features later in 2020.

“UPS continues to build an integrated fleet of electric vehicles, combined with innovative, large-scale fleet charging technology,” Juan Perez, UPS chief information and engineering officer, said. “As mega-trends like population growth, urban migration and e-commerce continue to accelerate, we recognize the need to work with partners around the world to solve both road congestion and pollution challenges for our customers and the communities we serve.”

Perez said EVs are a cornerstone of the company’s sustainable urban delivery strategies. Taking an active investment role in Arrival, allows UPS to collaborate on the design and production of the most advanced electric delivery vehicles.

“UPS has been a strong strategic partner of Arrival’s, providing valuable insight into how electric delivery vans are used on the road and, importantly, how they can be completely optimized for drivers,” Arrival CEO Denis Sverdlov, said. “Together, our teams have been working hard to create bespoke electric vehicles based on our flexible skateboard platforms that meet the end-to-end needs of UPS, from driving, loading/unloading and back-office operations.”

Arrival will build the vehicles in micro-factories, using lightweight, durable materials the company designs and creates in-house. UPS expects to deploy the EVs in Europe and North America.

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“Our investment and partnership with Arrival is directly aligned with UPS’s transformation strategy, led by the deployment of cutting-edge technologies,” Carlton Rose, president of UPS global fleet maintenance and engineering, said. “These vehicles are the world’s most advanced package delivery vehicles, redefining industry standards for electric, connected and intelligent vehicle solutions.”

Arrival and UPS had previously announced plans to develop a state-of-the-art pilot fleet of 35 electric delivery vehicles to be trialed in London and Paris. Additionally, UPS announced a new approach to electric charging and storage that has now been deployed in its central London facility.