UPS to trial fleet of adorable EVs in London and Paris this year

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

UPS, FedEx and other major couriers may be investing heavily in autonomous drone technology but the reality is, ground-based delivery vehicles aren’t going anywhere for the foreseeable future.

UPS on Wednesday announced it is working with UK-based technology company Arrival on a fleet of 35 state-of-the-art electric delivery vehicles. The zero tailpipe emission EVs will feature a battery range of more than 150 miles and come equipped with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) designed to improve safety and reduce driver fatigue.

Luke Wake, international director for automotive engineering in the advanced technology group at UPS, described it as a pioneering collaboration that’ll help UPS develop new ways to reduce emissions.

Arrival CEO Denis Sverdlov said the vehicle’s unique wrap-around front window affords the driver a much wider field of view that improves not only the safety of the driver but also that of cyclists and pedestrians.

Indeed, UPS’ new EVs are unique – dare I say cute, even. As another publication points out, they look like a creation straight out of a Disney Pixar film or perhaps a reimagined take on Volkswagen’s Microbus of yesteryear.

UPS has been working with Arrival on prototypes of different sizes since 2016 and aims to trial the new fleet in London and Pairs by the end of the year. They’ll join the more than 300 electric vehicles and nearly 700 hybrids already in service across Europe and the US.

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
Inside the city would work very well, but outside areas would need to boost that mileage to at least twice that amount to keep them on the road all day long.
 

GeforcerFX

TS Evangelist
Inside the city would work very well, but outside areas would need to boost that mileage to at least twice that amount to keep them on the road all day long.
My friend drives the rural route in my city and only does around 200 miles a day, so they don't need to double. But smaller cities and rural america won't have the need to go full electric for another decade or two.

I like the way the vehicles look, definitely a modern update to the ole UPS trucks. It will be weird to visit major cities in 5-10 years and have all the commercial vehicles be electric, so much noise reduction it will be strange.
 

Ravey

TS Addict
They don't look all that different from the UK city buses/coaches.

As far as range goes, providing a driver can get to a fast charge point during his lunch break, running out of power won't be an issue at all.

I'm tempted to turn my front garden into a charge station now lol.
 

Reachable

TS Evangelist
In the city a 150 mile range should be more than enough. Package delivery is not like cab driving where you're scooting from one part of town to another and back. The UPS driver has a route that covers a certain neighborhood and involves little spurts of driving a hundred feet or so followed by carrying packages to numerous destinations. In some cases the trip to and from the depot might be the major mileage of the day.
 

IAMTHESTIG

TS Evangelist
Should be considerably less maintenance.... all that start/stop is hard on an ICE engine and other required components. You really have to look at what companies do with large fleets to get an idea what is really financially viable. Should be interesting to see how this pans out. Are electric vehicles really ready for fleet use? I doubt it but I'd love to be proven wrong on this.
 

jobeard

TS Ambassador
Here's WHY;

money.cnn.com says:
India, France, Britain and Norway want to ditch gas and diesel cars in favor of cleaner vehicles.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has hinted that it's only a matter of time before the country that invented the modern car sets an expiration date of its own.

At least eight other countries have set sales targets for electric cars. Here's a look at the goals:

Britain: The U.K. said in July that it would ban sales of new gasoline and diesel cars starting in 2040 as part of a bid to clean up the country's air. By 2050, all cars on the road will need to have zero emissions.

nytimes.com says:
LONDON — Scrambling to combat a growing air pollution crisis, Britain announced on Wednesday that sales of new diesel and gas cars would reach the end of the road by 2040, the latest step in Europe’s battle against the damaging environmental impact of the internal combustion engine.

Britain’s plans match a similar pledge made this month by France, and are part of a growing global push to curb emissions and fight climate change by promoting electric cars. Carmakers are also adjusting, with Volvo notably saying recently that it would phase out the internal combustion engine in the coming years and BMW deciding to build an electric version of its popular Mini car in Britain.​