UPS is purchasing electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft from Beta Technologies through its Flight Forward program and is expected to receive the first 10 aircraft by 2024, according to an April 7 release.
“This is all about innovation with a focus on returns for our business, our customers and the environment,” 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.”
The complete order could include up to 150 of Beta’s eVTOL aircraft, according to the release. UPS also announced they reserved Beta’s recharging station. Beta declined to provide further details on the purchase of the recharging station.
“This deal is a milestone for us as we continue building an electric-powered ecosystem,” a spokesperson from Beta told Avionics International. “We’re grateful to have a logistics service partner like UPS to help us accelerate innovation.”
According to reporting from CNBC the deal also includes an embedded staff member from UPS at Beta’s headquarters.
Beta’s ALIA-250 eVTOL uses a distributed direct-drive electric propulsion system, has a wingspan on 50 feet, and a range of 250 NM, according to Beta’s website. The aircraft has a 1,400-pound cargo capacity and zero operating emissions.