UPS plans to buy 10,000 Arrival EV vans

With a minority investment in UK based commercial electric vehicle company Arrival, UPS has announced plans to buy 10,000 electric delivery vehicles.

The collaboration will include equipping Arrival vans with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). It is designed to increase safety and operational efficiency including potentially automated movements in UPS depots. This system is set to be tested later this year, with future vehicle purchases from Arrival contingent on success of those trials. UPS has not disclosed the fee it is paying per unit.

“UPS continues to build an integrated fleet of electric vehicles, combined with innovative, large-scale fleet charging technology,” said Juan Perez, UPS chief information and engineering officer. “As mega-trends like population growth, urban migration, and e-commerce continue to accelerate, we recognise 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. Electric vehicles form a cornerstone to our sustainable urban delivery strategies. Taking an active investment role in Arrival enables UPS to collaborate on the design and production of the world’s most advanced electric delivery vehicles.”

Arrival takes a ground-up approach to the design and production of its electric vehicles, enabling an efficient path toward mass adoption. The company produces its own major core vehicle components – chassis, powertrain, body and electronic controls. Importantly, Arrival vehicles also use a modular design with standardised parts, a method that reduces maintenance and other costs of ownership.

“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 optimised for drivers,” said Denis Sverdlov, Arrival chief executive. “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. We are pleased that today’s investment and vehicle order creates even closer ties between our two companies.”