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UPS has placed an order for 10,000 electric delivery vehicles with UK start-up Arrival, to be deployed across its US and European fleets.

It has also revealed its venture capital arm, UPS Ventures, has completed an undisclosed ‘minority investment’ in the tech firm.

The global parcel giant will work with Arrival to develop a wide range of electric vehicles with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).

This technology is designed to boost safety and operating efficiencies, including the potential for automated movements in UPS depots.

UPS will begin testing the ADAS features later this year.

Juan Perez, UPS chief information and engineering officer, said: “As mega-trends like 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.

“Electric vehicles form a cornerstone to our sustainable urban delivery strategies. Taking an active investment role in Arrival enables UPS to collaborate on the design and production of the world’s most advanced electric delivery vehicles.”

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Arrival takes a ‘ground-up’ approach to the design and production of its electric vehicles, which are built on-demand in micro-factories to service local communities.

The company produces its own major core vehicle components – chassis, powertrain, body and electronic controls – while using a ‘skateboard’ vehicle platform with a modular design and standardized parts to reduce maintenance and cost of ownership.

This enables the vehicle to be priced at the same level as traditional fossil fuelled counterparts.

“UPS has been a strong strategic partner of Arrival’s, providing valuable insight into how electric delivery vans are used on the road and, importantly, how they can be completely optimized for drivers,” said Denis Sverdlov, Arrival chief executive.

The two companies have worked together since 2016 to develop concepts of different vehicle sizes, with a pilot fleet of 35 delivery vehicles trialled in London and Paris.

“Our investment and partnership with Arrival is directly aligned with UPS’s transformation strategy, led by the deployment of cutting-edge technologies,” said 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.”

Founded in 2015, Arrival has more than 800 people globally and is headquartered in London, UK. It also has offices in Germany, Netherlands, Israel, Russia and the US.

This latest announcement comes one week after Arrival received an injection of €100m (£85m) from Hyundai and Kia, enabling the business to expand.