UPS says its venture capital arm, UPS Ventures, has completed a minority investment in Arrival, which makes electric vehicle (EV) platforms and purpose-built vehicles. Along with the investment in Arrival, UPS also announced a commitment to purchase 10,000 EVs to be built for UPS, with priority access to purchase additional vehicles.
UPS will collaborate with Arrival to develop a wide range of EVs with advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). The technology is designed to increase safety and operating efficiencies, including the potential for automated movements in UPS depots. UPS will initiate testing ADAS features later in 2020. Future vehicle purchases are contingent on successful tests of initial vehicles. Vehicle purchase prices have not been disclosed.
“UPS continues to build an integrated fleet of EVs, combined with innovative, large-scale fleet charging technology,” says Juan Perez, CIO and CEO at UPS. “As 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. EVs form a cornerstone to our sustainable urban delivery strategies.”
Arrival takes a ground-up approach to the design and production of its EVs, enabling an efficient path toward mass adoption. The company produces its own major core vehicle components – chassis, powertrain, body and electronic controls. Arrival vehicles also use a modular design with standardized parts, a method that reduces maintenance and other costs of ownership.
Arrival will build the vehicles in micro-factories, using lightweight, durable materials the company designs and creates in-house. As an investor, UPS has the option to fast-track orders as necessary. UPS expects to deploy the EVs in Europe and North America.
“Our investment and partnership with Arrival is directly aligned with UPS’s transformation strategy, led by the deployment of cutting-edge technologies,” says Carlton Rose, president of UPS Global Fleet Maintenance & Engineering. “These vehicles are the world’s most advanced package delivery vehicles, redefining industry standards for electric, connected and intelligent vehicle solutions.”
Arrival is the first commercial vehicle manufacturer to provide purpose-built electric delivery vehicles to UPS’s specifications and with a production strategy for a global scale. Since 2016, UPS and Arrival have collaborated to develop concepts of different vehicle sizes. The companies previously announced they would develop a pilot fleet of 35 electric delivery vehicles in London and Paris.