Global shipping company UPS has joined the UK’s Royal Mail in trialling a new breed of electric delivery van, and what a cutie it is, too.
The dinky 3.5-tonne Arrival van, which we’ve seen before in Royal Mail red, looks just as sweet in UPS’s trademark brown. Said to be capable of more than 150 miles per charge, they owe their useful driving range to the extensive use of lightweight composite materials.
UPS claims to have been working with Arrival for two years, and the pilot vehicles supplied to it will be built to UPS specifications. Depending on your point of view they’ll either have advanced driver assist features that should boost safety and reduce driver fatigue, or driver-stressing ‘big brother’ systems that scrutinise their every move.
The massive windscreen design shouldn’t just be a complete nightmare to replace if it ever cracked. It offers a much better view of pedestrians and cyclists, says Arrival. That said, most people will probably be too busy cooing over how cute the van is to remember that the front of it is probably still quite hard.
Designed with tiny wheels that don’t compromise on load space, the UPS-branded vans will be tested in London and Paris before the company makes a decision on whether to order more. Various sizes have been developed, including this 3.5-tonne unit and a larger 7.5-tonne beast.
UPS has already placed an order for 125 of Tesla’s semi trucks and is keen to point out that it was already using electric transport way back in the 1930s.