UPS & The Ugly Duckling

UPS Electric Van

UK technology company Arrival’s van shape is seen by some as an ugly duckling. However, American delivery company UPS don’t think so, as they have just signed and ordered for 10,000 of these vans, with an option to purchase a further 10,000 between 2020 and 2024.

I believe that just like the Hans Christian Andersen tale of the ugly duckling, it’s different in a world where the van manufactures provide body shapes we are familiar and comfortable with. But who today would swap their smartphone for their old Blackberry?

The ugly duckling, however, has a swan pedigree; Harrods were using electric delivery vans in London in 1911. Interestingly these first electric vans were manufactured in America by Walker Vehicle Company of Detroit. Walker exported them all around the world from Norway to New Zealand. Harrods rebuilt their EV van fleet again in the 1930s, where they were in use up until the 1970s.

In a change of the tables a century later, Arrival has secured this order from United Parcel Services (UPS), a profoundly American company.

Arrival has created Generation 2 electric vehicles that are better in price, design and experience than traditional fossil fuel vehicles and existing electric vehicles. This gives fleet managers a highly compelling commercial and environmental reason to switch to electric and will accelerate the adoption of electric technology globally.

Arrival has also secured further investment from two far eastern car manufactures into this fledgling UK company. So, will we see these vans on the streets of Japan and Korea at some point soon?

The optimist in me hopes this could be the acorn that will put us on the map as electric vehicle developers and manufacturers.

So come on UK delivery companies, let’s get behind this company and help change our planet for the better.

The picture can be found at

Mandy Weston

Mandy Weston

Mandy is an ex-mechanic, with 22 years’ experience in the motor industry. As an in-house motoring expert, Mandy is the go-to woman for any relevant questions that our customers have; both garages and drivers. From specific problems with your car to general maintenance, Mandy is a reliable source of information and advice. Her passion for motoring is a huge factor to her success and the huge wealth of knowledge that she has. She now uses her remarkable grasp of the industry to write regular content for our readers to help drivers understand their car better, avoid being ripped off by garages and save money on their motoring requirements.

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