UPS is working with UK-based technology firm Arrival on a pilot fleet of 35 electric delivery vehicles to be trialled in London and Paris.
The lightweight composite vehicles have a battery range of more than 150 miles – significantly higher than other electric vehicles currently in service. They will also come equipped with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that help to improve safety and reduce driver fatigue.
“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.
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.
Arrival chief executive Denis Sverdlov said: “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.”
UPS now has more than 9,000 vehicles worldwide operating using alternative propulsion methods.
Last month UPS announced that it had installed new charging technology at its central London depot in Camden that overcomes the challenge of simultaneously recharging an entire fleet of electric vehicles without the need for an expensive upgrade to the power supply grid.