Global logistics firm UPS has ordered 10,000 electric delivery vans from London-based start-up Arrival.
The vans, based on Arrival’s Generation 2.0 EV architecture, will be rolled out across the UK, Europe and North America before 2024 as UPS transitions to a zero-emissions fleet.
The American company also has the option of ordering another 10,000 vans in the future, having made an investment in Arrival of an undisclosed amount through its venture capital arm.
The transaction, said to be worth “hundreds of millions of euros”, comes just two weeks after Arrival announced an £85 million investment from Hyundai and Kia, which will go towards developing a new line of bespoke commercial EVs for the Korean manufacturers.
UPS and Arrival have been working together since 2016, with the former providing “valuable insight to how electric delivery vans are used on the road and how they can be optimised for drivers,” according to Arrival CEO Denis Sverdlov.
Detailed technical and performance figures for Arrival’s electric van remain unconfirmed, but the firm claims it will "surpass traditional vehicles in cost, design and efficiency with 50% operational cost savings for fleet owners".
It's also yet to be confirmed which of Arrival’s five low-footprint ‘microfactory’ sites will produce the UPS vans.
Last year, online retail giant Amazon placed an order for 100,000 electric vans from American start-up Rivian, which, like Arrival, bases its EVs on a skateboard chassis and can adapt them to suit the specific needs of its customers.