UPS has agreed a deal with UK based firm Arrival for the delivery of up to 20,000 EVs.
An initial 10,000 electric delivery vans will be rolled out in the UK, Europe and North America between 2020 and 2024.
UPS also has the option of purchasing a further 10,000 EVs from Arrival in 2023.
The United Parcel Service says the deal with Arrival is worth “hundreds of millions of euros”.
The electric vehicles will be built using Arrival’s new method of assembly using low capital, low footprint microfactories located to serve local communities and profitable from thousands of units.
Arrival first announced a partnership with UPS to develop EVs in 2016, with today’s vehicle order and investment accelerating the deployment of fit for purpose electric fleets at scale.
Arrival says its Generation 2.0 electric vehicles offer UPS compelling commercial and environmental benefits to make a seamless and cost effective transition to a zero emissions fleet.
Carlton Rose, president of UPS global fleet maintenance and engineering says these vehicles will “be among the world’s most advanced package delivery vehicles, redefining industry standards for electric, connected and intelligent vehicle solutions”.
With over 300 million vans and trucks on the road fuelled by petrol or diesel, the commercial vehicle segment is a major contributor to transport emissions as well as the fastest growing vehicle segment.
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.
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.