UPS invests in Arrival for electric-delivery vehicles

11 February 2020

11 February 2020

UPS has announced an order of 10,000 purpose-built electric vehicles from UK-based Arrival. The initial 10,000 electric vehicles (EVs) will be rolled out in the UK, Europe and North America from 2020 to 2024 and are worth hundreds of millions of euros each year.

UPS has the option to purchase a further order of 10,000 vehicles during this period and UPS’ venture-capital arm has also announced an investment in Arrival of an undisclosed amount.

Arrival has developed components, sustainable materials and software to customise both vehicles and operations of commercial-fleet owners. The company’s skateboard platforms enable the creation of vehicles in any weight, type, size and shape to match customer requirements, which are then deployed close to areas of demand in Arrival’s microfactories.

Climate-change opportunity

With over 300 million vans and trucks on the road fuelled by petrol or diesel, commercialvehicles are 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 New York City alone has quadrupled to 1.5 million whilst van mileage in the UK has grown 56% since 2000. In their joint statement, the companies also highlight that ′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.’

′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,’ said Carlton Rose, President of UPS Global Fleet Maintenance and Engineering.

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.’

In partnership since 2016

Arrival first announced a partnership with UPS to develop electric vehicles in 2016 with the vehicle order and investment accelerating the deployment of fit-for-purpose electric fleets at scale.

′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.,’ said Denis Sverdlov, founder and CEO of Arrival.

′Although established carmakers such as Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Renault and the PSA Group have rolled out electric-delivery vehicles, this partnership is reminiscent of the vehicle developed by the subsidiary of Deutsche Post DHL Group (DP); StreetScooter GmbH. The model was initially only used by DP for its own postal and courier services but was subsequently offered to external customers. With this move, DP shifted from its traditional role as a key fleet customer for OEMs to becoming a competitor,’ commented Neil King, Autovista Group’s Senior Data Journalist. Also, in June 2017, StreetScooter and Ford entered a partnership to manufacture electric-delivery vehicles.