I'm known to do some pretty dumb stuff in pursuit of electric car advocacy/education, but I am 100% in agreement with Lloyd that we need a lot fewer cars on our roads altogether.
Weirdly, delivery trucks may help with that—because the benefit of our (excessive!) online shopping habits has been far fewer trips to the mall and, soon, fewer trips to the grocery store too.
But they spew a lot of diesel. So it's good to hear that UPS has taken another step toward cleaner delivery options, unveiling 35 lightweight, longer-range electric delivery vans to be tested out on the streets of Paris and London. Boasting 150 miles of range, and "Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)" which are said to reduce driver fatigue and increase safety, these look like they could be a significant step up from the smelly, loud vans that trundle down our street several times a night.
Here's how Luke Wake, international director for automotive engineering in the advanced technology group at UPS, described the significance of the initiative:
“UPS is working with ARRIVAL here in the UK because their smart electric vehicles are helping to reduce dependency on fossil fuel. This is a pioneering collaboration that helps UPS develop new ways to reduce our emissions. UPS is marshaling its global scale to encourage innovation within the automotive industry. 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."
This isn't UPS' first rodeo in this regard. In fact the company also recently unveiled energy storage and smart electric vehicle charging capabilities at one of its London depots, which should help to lighten the load of electrification on the city's energy grid. And it's got one of the larger orders on the books for the Tesla Semi, having reserved 125 of these fully electric long-haul trucks.
Let's just hope that electrification of vans complements, rather than negates, the encouraging rise of cargo bike deliveries in the UK and elsewhere.