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UPS invests in Arrival and orders 10,000 electric vehicles
UPS has finalised a deal to purchase 10,000 purpose-built electric vehicles worth hundreds of millions of pounds from UK electric vehicle start-up Arrival. The initial 10,000 vehicles will be rolled out in the UK, Europe and North America throughout 2020 – 2024 with the option to purchase a further 10,000 vehicles. UPS Ventures, its venture capital arm, has also announced an investment in Arrival of an undisclosed amount.
Arrival has been working with UPS for several years, having first announced a partnership in 2016. This latest vehicle order and investment will accelerate deployment of fit for purpose electric fleets at scale. Arrival’s unique generation 2.0 electric vehicles offer UPS compelling commercial and environmental benefits to make a seamless and cost-effective transition to a zero-emissions fleet.
Denis Sverdlov, founder and CEO of Arrival, said: “UPS has been a strong strategic partner of Arrival, providing valuable insight to how electric delivery vans are used on the road and how they can be optimised for drivers. Together, our teams have been creating bespoke electric vehicles, based on our flexible skateboard platforms, that meet the end-to-end needs of UPS from driving, loading/unloading, depot and back office operations. We are pleased that today’s investment and vehicle order creates even closer ties between our two companies.”
Carlton Rose, president of UPS global fleet maintenance and engineering, said: “Our investment and partnership with Arrival is directly aligned with UPS’s transformation strategy, led by the deployment of cutting-edge technologies. These vehicles will be among the world’s most advanced package delivery vehicles, redefining industry standards for electric, connected and intelligent vehicle solutions.”
Arrival has developed components, sustainable materials and software to customise both vehicles and operations of commercial fleet owners. Arrival’s unique skateboard platforms create vehicles in any weight, type, size and shape to match customer requirements. The company’s microfactories can be rapidly deployed close to areas of demand across the globe.
This latest news follows an announcement earlier this month that Hyundai and Kia were investing €100m in Arrival.
Avinash Rugoobur, chief strategy officer at Arrival, said: “Arrival has created generation 2 electric vehicles that are better in price, design and experience than traditional fossil fuel vehicles and existing EVs. This gives fleet managers a highly compelling commercial and environmental reason to switch to electric and will accelerate the adoption of electric technology globally. At Arrival, we believe this is amongst the most impactful areas to start the transition to a fully electric future, and our partnership with UPS will drive us both towards our shared vision of cleaner mobility.”
Juan Perez, chief information and engineering officer, UPS, concluded: “UPS continues to build an integrated fleet of electric vehicles, combined with innovative, large-scale fleet charging technology. 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.
“Electric vehicles form a cornerstone to our sustainable urban delivery strategies. Taking an active investment role in Arrival enables UPS to collaborate in the design and production of the world’s most advanced electric delivery vehicles.”
With over 300 million vans and trucks on the road fuelled by petrol or diesel, the commercial vehicle segment is a major contributor to transport emissions as well as the fastest growing vehicle segment. The rise of e-commerce has contributed to this increase; over the past decade the number of parcels delivered per day in NYC alone has quadrupled to 1.5 million, whilst van mileage in the UK has grown 56% since 2000.
The opportunity to significantly impact climate change, coupled with predictable routes and overnight depot charging, make commercial vehicles perfectly suited to seamlessly switch to electric.