UPS has announced that it will purchase up to 150 Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft from Beta Technologies to update its delivery network.
With the rise of consumer drones and improved battery capacity, eVTOL with passenger and cargo capacity has become possible.
Now it attracts the attention of the logistics giant UPS.
The company announced it has entered into an agreement with Beta Technologies to purchase its ALIA eVTOL:
UPS (NYSE: UPS), together with its subsidiary UPS Flight Forward, plans to purchase electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft from Beta Technologies (BETA) to expand air service to select small and medium markets . These planes will take off and land in a whisper-quiet manner in the UPS facility grounds, reducing travel time, vehicle emissions and operating costs.
I was not familiar with Beta Technologies and its planes, but they apparently have working prototypes:
UPS describes the battery electric vehicle they plan to use as part of their supply business:
The BETA aircraft’s 1,400-pound payload capacity is ideally suited for faster and more durable transport of time-sensitive shipments that would otherwise fly small fixed-wing aircraft. UPS’s use of the aircraft benefits healthcare providers, thousands of small and medium businesses, and other businesses in smaller communities. With a range of 250 miles and a cruising speed of up to 270 miles per hour, UPS can plan a series of short routes or one long route on a single charge to meet customer needs.
The company also ordered BETA’s custom airplane charging stations:
UPS has also reserved BETA’s charging station for a seamless and fully integrated aviation electrical system. The BETA charging station ensures that the aircraft can be charged safely and quickly in less than an hour, and allows a quick turn for loading and unloading cargo. The charging station also provides the aircraft’s batteries with a second life cycle.
The deal is for 10 eVTOL aircraft, which they expect to receive by 2024, but they also have an option to purchase up to 150 of BETA’s aircraft.
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