UPS’s Flight Forward subsidiary plans to purchase electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft from Beta Technologies. The delivery giant will take delivery of the first ten aircraft beginning in 2024, with the option to purchase up to 150. Beta’s vehicle has a 1,400-pound cargo capacity and a range of 250 miles.
UPS envisions that eVTOL aircraft, which have the capability to take off and land directly on UPS property, will be perfect for moving smaller loads that would otherwise fly to and from airports on small feeder aircraft or take even longer to travel by ground.
UPS will use Beta’s recharging station to charge the aircraft in under one hour. The companies also plan to offers the aircraft’s batteries a second life as stationary storage in charging stations, which can be used to recharge the aircraft as well as UPS’s fleet of electric ground vehicles.
UPS has more than 12,000 alternative fuel vehicles deployed worldwide, and has committed to purchase up to 10,000 electric vehicles from Arrival.
“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,” said Juan Perez, UPS Chief Information and Engineering Officer.