As councils and cities across the UK take steps to reduce carbon emissions and transport pollution – exemplified by the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone in London, third-party logistics (3PL) operators and the e-commerce industry continue to evaluate ways they can incorporate electric vehicles within their operations and logistics businesses. 

Electric commercial vehicle and manufacturer Arrival is at the vanguard of supporting this process. It is rewriting the rule book on electric commercial vehicle design at its new R&D centre based in a Logicor warehouse in Banbury, Oxfordshire.

Tom Elvidge, Arrival’s Head of Vehicle Programmes & SVP, explains their approach: “We currently have three vehicles in development: the Arrival Bus, the Arrival Van and the Arrival Car. We have been working on these for five years now and are really excited to be bringing them into production within the next few months.”

Success trialling the vehicles led UPS, the world's largest package delivery company, to pre-order 10,000 Arrival Vans, and a deal with taxi company Uber to produce Arrival Cars for its drivers. The Arrival Buses are due on the roads in the next few weeks.

Arrival’s new modular construction design enables their vans and other vehicles to carry as many batteries as needed for their expected journey. With increasing online shopping and the subsequent requirements for last mile delivery, this battery powered solution can help reduce emissions in cities and further afield from journeys currently fulfilled by petrol or diesel vehicles.

Taking sustainability a step further, as well as creating greener vehicles, Arrival is making the manufacturing of vehicles greener too - as you can see in BBC Click’s feature episode. For example, rather than wasting offcuts of the material used to make the body of the vehicles, these are broken down and recycled for use within the rest of the vehicle or in other industries.

Arrival is looking ahead to an automated future. With a government research grant, the company is currently trialling and testing a fully automated van depot. The production of these driverless vehicles is due to start in the next 12 months.

Jack Garrett, UK Asset Manager at Logicor who is helping Arrival with their UK facility requirements, comments: “We are proud to play a small part in the evolution of electric vehicle manufacturing, supporting a UK manufacturer who is making big waves globally and looks set to become one of our country’s greatest tech exports.”