Leading delivery firms charge ahead with major expansion of electric vehicle fleets

International package delivery firms UPS and DPD today confirmed major deals to expand their fleets with electric vehicles.

An order for 10,000 vans from British start-up Arrival has been placed by UPS, which plans to roll out the EVs across the UK, Europe and North America by 2024.

The exact value of the deal hasn’t been stated, although Arrival says it is ‘worth hundreds of millions of euros each year’, while UPS also has the option to take another 10,000 vehicles over the next four years. The American delivery firm’s venture capital arm has made an unspecified investment in Arrival as well.

Carlton Rose, president of UPS Global Fleet Maintenance & Engineering, said: “Our investment and partnership with Arrival is directly aligned with UPS’s transformation strategy, led by the deployment of cutting-edge technologies. These vehicles will be among the world’s most advanced package delivery vehicles, redefining industry standards for electric, connected and intelligent vehicle solutions.”

Meanwhile, DPD and Nissan have agreed a deal that will see the Japanese manufacturer supply 300 e-NV200s by May this year to the French-based delivery firm’s UK fleet, which will more than triple DPD’s EV count in the country to 450.

The move is part of DPD’s plan to have 10 per cent of its fleet at each of its 68 UK depots electric by the end of 2020.

Dwain McDonald, DPD chief executive, said: “This is a real landmark day in the move to a more sustainable future for the parcel industry. These vehicles are changing the way we work. It isn’t just a case of plugging them in and saying ‘job done’. We are rethinking and re-engineering how we deliver parcels now and in the future with different route networks and new types of depots. It is an all-encompassing revolution for our industry, and electric emission-free vehicles are at the heart of that vision.”

Nissan DPD
Nissan DPD

McDonald also stated that the firm would be able to take on more electric vehicles as part of its UK fleet if manufacturers were willing to provide them, adding: “Credit to Nissan, who have stepped up and made affordable right-hand-drive vehicles available in significant numbers, but we can take far more if other manufacturers do the same.”

Earlier this year, Scottish logistics firm Menzies Distribution revealed that it had added three Nissan e-NV200s to its fleet of electric vehicles – taking its total to 120.