UK electric vehicle startup Arrival has inked a multi-hundred-million euro deal with American logistics giant UPS to supply it with at least 10,000 battery-powered delivery vans from now through 2024.
The deal comprises 10,000 vehicles the for UK, mainland Europe, and North America, with UPS retaining the option of purchasing a further 10,000 during this period.
This project stems from Arrival and UPS's development deal announced in 2016, just one year into the former's existence.
Arrival’s battery-toting ‘skateboard’ platform can house a variety of vehicle bodies, and its products are assembled in “low capital, low footprint microfactories located to serve local communities and [be] profitable from thousands of units”.
The company also says it has developed components, sustainable materials and software to ‘customise’ commercial fleets further.
"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," said the company's CEO Denis Sverdlov.
"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."
Above: Arrival's van in Royal Mail trim for the UK (story)
This is the second time we’ve discussed Arrival this month. Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation recently co-invested 100 million euros (about AU$160 million) into the company, asking it to co-develop small and mid-sized EVs for logistics, on-demand ride-sharing and shuttle service operators.
The relationship between logistics providers and EV startups isn’t an unfamiliar one. Last year Amazon announced an order for 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian. It hopes to have 10,000 of these vans on the road by the end of 2022, with 100,000 online by 2030.
In a release published today, Arrival claimed that more than 300 million vans and trucks are on the road and fuelled by petrol or diesel, making major contributions to overall transport emissions.
“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 per cent since 2000,” it added.
“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.”
UPS’s chief engineer Juan Perez said the company intended 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 recognise 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.”