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The company on Wednesday announced today a partnership with UK-based technology company Arrival to deploy a “pilot fleet” of 35 electric trucks in London and Paris. The lightweight composite vehicles are expected to have a range of 150 miles on a single charge, zero tailpipe emissions, and an “Advanced Driver Assistance System” designed to reduce driver fatigue.
What stands out most is their delightful design. The silly vehicles look like something out of an animated children’s show, and those smooth curves remind us of the Volkswagen Type 2 (aka the hippie van).
“UPS is marshaling its global scale to encourage innovation within the automotive industry,” said Luke Wake, the international director for automotive engineering in the advanced technology group at UPS. “We are helping to drive demand for these disruptive technologies. The result is a safer and cleaner fleet for the communities in which we deliver.”
The company is no stranger to electric trucks. It claims to have more than 9,000 vehicles operating worldwide with “alternative propulsion methods.” The logistics company purchased 125 Tesla semi-trucks in December, the largest public preorder, just weeks after the truck was unveiled.
UPS has been working with Arrival since 2016 on prototypes of different sizes. The first vehicles are expected to roll out by the end of 2018.
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Phillip Tracy is a former technology staff writer at the Daily Dot. He's an expert on smartphones, social media trends, and gadgets. He previously reported on IoT and telecom for RCR Wireless News and contributed to NewBay Media magazine. He now writes for Laptop magazine.