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14 May 18

UPS starts testing electric urban vans in London and Paris

Delivery service UPS has teamed up with electric vehicle builder Arrival to test a fleet of 35 zero emissions vans in the British and the French capital. These zero-tailpipe emission, lightweight composite vehicles have a battery range of 240 kilometres – significantly more than other EVs currently in service – and feature Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that help to improve safety and reduce driver fatigue.

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.

Delivering on a green promise

Electromobility and alternative technology vehicles are a priority for the parcel delivery company. With more than 9,000 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.

Since 2009, UPS has invested over $750 million in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. And, in 2016, a full year earlier than expected, UPS achieved its self-set goal of covering 1 billion miles (1.6 billion kilometers) using its fleet of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles.

Following Deutsche Post DHL's example

A year ago, Deutsche Post DHL Group and Ford presented the first of their jointly produced electric delivery vans, the StreetScooter WORK XL. This Ford Transit-derived delivery vehicle was developed to Deutsche Post DHL specifications, but it will also be sold to third-party customers. It is unclear whether Arrival and UPS have similar plans.

Last January, DPDHL announced it had appointed Alphabet as official leasing partner in Germany and the Netherlands for its StreetScooter subsidiary. The partnership, effective immediately, was partly inspired by the proliferation of emissions-free zones in city centres across Europe – necessitating the development of an eco-friendly logistics solution.

Picture copyright: UPS, 2018

Authored by: Dieter Quartier