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January 30, 2020 9:15 AM, EST

UPS Orders 10,000 Electric Delivery Vehicles

Arrival's Generation 2 electric vehicle.Arrival's Generation 2 electric vehicle. (Arrival)

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UPS has ordered 10,000 electric delivery vehicles from electric vehicle maker Arrival, in what it calls a move to accelerate fleet electrification.

Atlanta-based UPS is also making a minority investment in Arrival through its venture capital arm UPS Ventures.

The Arrival vehicles will be purpose-built for UPS with advanced vehicle controls, and are expected to be deployed in Europe and North America.

UPS said it will also get priority access to buy more electric vehicles, contingent on successful tests of initial vehicles. Its investment in Arrival allows it to fast-track orders.

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The shipping company has partnered with other companies for electric vehicles, including Workhorse Group Inc., and placed orders for other electric trucks, including Tesla Semi trucks. It has a variety of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles in what it calls its “rolling laboratory” fleet.

UPS did not disclose the price it is paying, but said Arrival electric vehicles are a “highly competitive value proposition” compared with traditional internal combustion engine vehicles and existing electric vehicles.

The two companies are working together to develop electric vehicles with advanced driver-assistance systems, including the potential for automated movement in UPS depots — technology that it will test starting later this year.

“Electric vehicles form a cornerstone to our sustainable urban delivery strategies,” said Juan Perez, UPS chief information and engineering officer, in a written statement. “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.”

According to Arrival CEO Denis Sverdlov, vehicles can be created to meet UPS needs for driving, loading and unloading and back-office operations.

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