UPS and Royal Mail will be testing electric vehicles later this year in London. The vehicles will be “Smart Electric Vans” produced by electric vehicle startup Arrival.
The company designed the vehicles from scratch, including developing core components in-house. These components include motors, power electronics, battery systems, user interfaces, and software.
UPS will be testing 35 of these zero-tailpipe emissions vans in London and Paris while the Royal Mail plans to test nine of the boxy looking vehicles in the UK’s capital city.
Arrival says the vans have a range of 150 miles per charge and they believe that should cover most urban routes.
The vans will be easy to spot as they feature a unique box-like shape with large front wrap-around windows for improved visibility and electronic driver assistance systems that are designed to improve safety and reduce fatigue.
UPS Has History with Electric Vehicles in London
This is not UPS’ first use of electric vehicles. The company already operates 170 vehicles in London and recently switched on a Smart Grid to super-charge its current fleet to allow all 170 vehicles to operate from its central London location.
Before the launch of the Smart Grid, UPS was limited to operating only 65 vehicles at a time. This Smart Grid technology which improves the simultaneous charging of vehicles is believed to be the largest deployed at this scale.
Specialized vehicles such as delivery vans are a great place to introduce more energy efficient and green technologies. This is especially true in major urban areas such as London, Paris, New York, etc. where excessive emissions can also be a health hazard.
While the world may be a long way from generating “green” electricity at scale, as technology improves on solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources, more electricity will eventually be produced from renewables.
Running and expanding electric delivery vehicle tests is a key development of future delivery systems. With the growth of eCommerce, finding solutions that reduce carbon emissions is an important business and environmental strategy for all logistics companies.
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