The people at UPS are super serious about reducing the carbon footprint of their delivery fleet. If doing so reduces operating costs at the same time, so much the better. Since 2009, it has invested $750 million into high-tech and alternative fuel vehicles. Soon, UPS will begin testing a fleet of electric delivery vans from Arrival, a UK-based company specializing in lightweight electric vehicles.
These electric delivery vans are groundbreaking in several respects. They have a range of 150 miles, zero tailpipe emissions, an advanced vehicle display, and feature an Advanced Driver Assistance System that contributes to driver safety and helps lower fatigue. They are also cute enough to star in the next Pixar movie.
“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,” says Luke Wake, international director for automotive engineering at UPS.
The new electric vehicles have a wraparound front windshield that gives drivers a clearer view of their surrounding. The windshield design is similar to the one in the electric delivery vans used by the Royal Mail, which is no coincidence since Arrival also helped develop those vehicles. In all, 35 of the electric vans from Arrival will be used in field trials in London and Paris, with the first ones scheduled to enter service by the end of this year.
UPS is also testing 50 plug-in hybrid delivery vans manufactured by Workhorse in the United States and has ordered 50 Tesla Semi electric trucks for its fleet of alternative fuel vehicles. UPS currently has more than 300 electric vehicles and nearly 700 hybrid electric vehicles on the road in Europe and the US according to a report by The Verge.
Thanks in large part to the success of Amazon and other online shopping platforms, the delivery business is booming, particularly in urban areas where pollution from diesel-powered trucks has become a major concern for many world cities.