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UPS orders 20,000 vehicles from electric-van maker Arrival

30 Jan 2020, 18:18 ... b328d9061c

UPS orders 20,000 vehicles from electric-van maker Arrival
Boost for UK start-up one week after receiving €100m injection from Hyundai and Kia

UK electric-van maker Arrival has received an order for up to 20,000 custom delivery vehicles from UPS in a deal worth hundreds of millions to the British start-up.

UPS has ordered 10,000 purpose-built vans to be rolled out between 2020 and 2024, with the option to purchase another 10,000 in 2023.

The vans will be produced at Arrival’s production sites in the UK in Bicester and Banbury, as well as a new plant in Reading, one in the US in New Jersey and another site in mainland Europe.

Deliveries of the first vehicles will begin later this year.

The orders are a further boost to the group, which has been a bright spot in a UK car industry struggling with falling output amid lower sales because of trading uncertainty following Brexit.

The order comes a week after the company received €100m from Hyundai and Kia, valuing the start-up at €3bn and providing capital for the business to expand.

The first generation of Arrival vans were existing conventional vehicles retrofitted with battery electric technology and used by companies including Royal Mail and BT.

Its new generation of models have been designed from scratch and use a flexible skateboard-style base, or chassis, for battery vehicles that can be used to make large vans or smaller cars.

Its production method allows the business to use a network of “microfactories”, which can make tens of thousands of vehicles, producing cars flexibly in several locations, rather than relying on the large facilities used by traditional manufacturers.

The production centres employ about 40 to 100 people.

UPS and Arrival have been working together since 2016 to develop the new vehicle based on the skateboard platform.

The delivery group has also invested tens of millions of euros into Arrival, which has been seeking new investors to help fuel its growth plans.

Arrival has about 400 employees in the UK, as well as 400 others across the world.

Denis Sverdlov, founder and chief executive of Arrival, said: “UPS has been a strong strategic partner of Arrival, providing valuable insight to how electric delivery vans are used on the road and how they can be optimised for drivers.

“Together our teams have been creating bespoke electric vehicles, based on our flexible skateboard platforms, that meet the needs of UPS from driving, loading and unloading, depot and back-office operations.”

Juan Perez, chief information and engineering officer at UPS, said: “We recognise the need to work with partners around the world to solve both road congestion and pollution challenges for our customers and the communities we serve.

“Electric vehicles form a cornerstone to our sustainable urban delivery strategies. Taking an active investment role in Arrival enables UPS to collaborate in the design and production of the world’s most advanced electric delivery vehicles.”

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