October 4, 2021

UPS launches world first solar vehicle charging point at Expo 2020 Dubai

categories : oil and gas

The EVs will eventually replace the entire UPS fleet

DUBAI: The world’s first solar-powered vehicle charging point has been launched at Expo 2020 Dubai where it will be used by the courier service UPS to power its fleet of electric delivery vans.

UPS, made the announcement alongside its partners Arrival and DP world, at a press conference at the Expo site on Sunday.

Sunlight will be captured through solar panels on the roof of DP World’s Flow pavilion, with the solar energy flowing through a processing system to an off-grid battery Energy Storage System (BESS) unit which powers the charging station.

The UPS fleet of electric vehicles being used at the Expo are part of the company’s larger transition to a zero-emissions fleet within the next three years.

The two vehicles, produced by UK-based manufacturer Arrival, are part of an initial order of 10,000 purpose-built electric vehicles that will propel the company towards its carbon-neutral goal by 2050.

The vehicles, which come in three sizes, will be dispatched across the UAE at a later date, “in Jebel Ali and other parcel sorting facilities,” Abdulla Bin Damithan, the CEO and managing director of the Dubai-based logistics company DP World, said.

“Our clients and their clients are demanding it,” said Scott Price, the president of UPS International.

“You simply don’t stay in business that long without innovating, which is why our partnership with arrival is very important,” Price noted.

Arrival, a six-year-old UK-based company that has recently emerged from the shadows, first announced the partnership with UPS to develop electric vehicles in 2016, giving the latter compelling commercial and environmental benefits to transition to a zero-emissions fleet.

“Our electric vans are zero-emission, powered by the sun, and don’t need to be connected to the electrical grid to deliver packages. It’s truly transformative,” Avinash Rugoobur, Arrival’s Chief Strategy Officer, said.

The company announced in Jan. 2020 a $110 million investment from Hyundai and Kia while UPS has also acquired a minority stake.

The two Arrival prototypes will be on display on-site at the Expo site, delivering packages across the 4.38 sq km venue.

“Expo is where innovation and technology come together to make life better,” Rygoobur noted, highlighting the importance of the off-the-grid aspect of the vehicles.

These vehicles can be used anywhere in the world, with the lack of electric connectivity in remote areas no longer a hindrance.

“The sun takes them off the grid and frees up these vehicles to be used anywhere,” Price said.

Arrival has put forth a new method of assembly using low capital, low footprint microfactories located to serve local communities and profitable from thousands of units, Ryoobur said.

It also makes their vehicles price competitive with fossil fuel-powered commercial vans, buses and other vehicles.

“This paves the way for locally manufactured vehicles in the region,” he added, with Arrival currently operating four plants in the UK, US and Spain.

With no metals and composed of fully recyclable solar panels, these vehicles “transform the way we think of mobility,” Ryoobur, who joined the company almost three years ago, highlighted.

To further its sustainability pledge and in line with Expo 2020 Dubai’s theme, UPS will purchase carbon offsets for every package shipped at the UPS Expo 2020 customer counters to mitigate its environmental impacts.

“It is our collective responsibility to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly,” Bin Damithan said.

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