UPS is to trial 35 electric trucks across London and Paris, which will be built by UK technology firm Arrival.
The logistics company has been working on a number of prototypes of different sizes with Arrival since 2016, with the first of these expected to be deployed by the end of the year.
Although few details have been released about the trucks’ specification, UPS said the lightweight, zero-tailpipe emission vehicles will have a range of more than 150 miles.
They will be equipped with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems to help improve safety and reduce driver fatigue. An advanced vehicle display will provide the driver with an intelligent, connected vehicle.
“This is a pioneering collaboration that helps UPS develop new ways to reduce our emissions,” said Luke Wake, international director for automotive engineering in the advanced technology group at UPS.
“UPS is marshaling its global scale to encourage innovation within the automotive industry. We are helping to drive demand for these disruptive technologies. The result is a safer and cleaner fleet for the communities in which we deliver.”
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Denis Sverdlov, CEO of Arrival, added: “We’re excited to collaborate with UPS to create an affordable, modular, fully electric delivery vehicle designed to make deliveries in our busy cities clean and quiet.
“With its unique, wrap-around front window the driver has a much wider field of view that improves not only the safety of the driver but also that of cyclists and pedestrians.”
UPS already operates more than 9,000 alternatively fuelled vehicles globally, as part of its ‘rolling laboratory’ strategy.
“This initiative will help UPS attain its global carbon reduction goals for the company’s facilities and fleets,” said Peter Harris, director for sustainability at UPS Europe. “We will continue working with our partners, communities and customers to spark innovation, thus leading the industry toward a more sustainable future.”
Last month UPS announced that it would be increasing its existing tally of 65 electric trucks to 17o at its Camden, north London depot after it installed new smart grid charging technology.