Atlanta, Georgia – Shipping giant UPS has committed to purchasing 10,000 electric vehicle (EV) delivery vans from British startup Arrival, part of a deal that includes buying a minority stake in the company though UPS’ venture capital arm.
Buying into Arrival gives UPS priority access to purchase additional EVs.
UPS will collaborate with Arrival to develop EVs with advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) to increase safety and operating efficiencies, including the potential for automated movements in UPS depots. UPS will test ADAS features later in 2020. Future vehicle purchases are contingent on successful tests of initial vehicles.
“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 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. EVs form a cornerstone to our sustainable urban delivery strategies.”
Arrival produces its own core vehicle components – chassis, powertrain, body, and electronic controls. The modular design reduces maintenance and other costs of ownership.
Arrival CEO Denis Sverdlov said, “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.
Since 2016, UPS and Arrival have collaborated to develop concepts of different vehicles sizes. The companies previously announced they would develop a 35 EV pilot fleet to be trialed in London and Paris.