UPS’s planned purchase of 10,000 full-electric vehicles from a UK-based startup for Europe and North America is just the start of its effort to cut emissions from its 120,000-vehicle global fleet. The delivery giant hopes the deal pushes established automakers “to bring forward solutions that the market is looking for,” Luke Wake, UPS’s international director of automotive engineering and advanced technology, said. He shared UPS’s electrification with Automotive News Europe Correspondent Nick Gibbs.
Can you outline UPS’s history of helping create the delivery vehicles you operate?
Globally, we operate more than 120,000 commercial vehicles. We spent a lot of time with vehicle manufacturers and innovative startups looking at how we can build more operationally efficient vehicles, and also one that’s better from an ergonomics point of view. In our final mile fleet -- the brown delivery vehicles – [UPS has 10,000 of these in Europe], we already have a lot of bespoke vehicles. We typically work with vehicle manufacturers to acquire a chassis powertrain integration and then we also work with a third-party body maker. That allows us to get improvements such as a flat floor design that the driver can walk from the cab area into the cargo area.