Last week, UPS announced that it is working with UK-based technology firm ARRIVAL (formerly known as Charge Automotive) to develop a state-of-the-art pilot fleet of 35 lightweight, composite electric delivery vehicles to be tested in London and Paris. These zero tailpipe emission, lightweight composite vehicles have a battery range of more than 150 miles (240 kilometers), which is significantly higher than other EVs currently in service. The specifics of the composite construction remain proprietary, but ARRIVAL noted in 2016 that by combining composites with custom built hardware, including power electronics and motors, it has been able to reduce the vehicle’s operating costs by more than 50 percent.

“UPS is working with ARRIVAL here in the UK because their smart electric vehicles are helping to reduce dependency on fossil fuel. 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.”

ARRIVAL is the first commercial vehicle manufacturer in Europe to provide purpose-built electric delivery vehicles to UPS’s specifications. Since 2016, the two companies have been developing prototypes of different sizes, and the first vehicles are expected to be deployed on the road before the end of 2018.

“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,” said Denis Sverdlov, CEO of ARRIVAL. “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.”

With more than 9,000 vehicles worldwide operating using alternative propulsion methods, UPS possesses one of the largest private and most diverse alternative fuel and advanced technology fleets in the entire logistics industry.

“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.”