Through its Flight Forward subsidiary, UPS plans to purchase electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft from Beta Technologies (BETA) as part of its strategy help small businesses with sustainable solutions.
With the capability to take off and land directly on UPS property, the company explains eVTOL aircraft are perfect for moving smaller loads that would otherwise fly to and from airports on small feeder aircraft or take even longer by ground.
UPS Flight Forward is scheduled to take delivery of its first 10 BETA eVTOL aircraft in 2024, with option to purchase up to 150. The vehicle is projected to have a 1,400-pound cargo capacity, a range of 250 miles, and zero operating emissions.
UPS has reserved BETA’s recharging station which aims to charge the aircraft in under one hour, facilitating faster cargo loading and unloading. The company explains after a battery’s first lifecycle in the aircraft is over, they can be fitted to a charging station to recharge the aircraft’s onboard batteries as well as UPS’s fleet of electric ground vehicles.
UPS is committed to purchase up to 10,000 electric vehicles from Arrival. Juan Perez, UPS chief information and engineering officer, said in a statement, “These new aircraft will create operational efficiencies in our business, open possibilities for new services and serve as a foundation for future solutions to reduce the emissions profile of our air and ground operation.”