Apart from electric vehicles, UPS has now also targeted at low carbon aerial transportation by officially order 10 units of electric aircrafts, and will increase the order to 150 units depending on the results.
Logistics leader UPS is striving for carbon reduction like its competitors, while also lowering on the cost of maintenance and repair, and hopes to enter the field of autonomous driving as soon as possible in order to further diminish the cost of transportation. The company has taken a crucial step by ordering 10 units of electric VTOL aircrafts that will be incorporated to its service array.
This electric aircraft, ALIA-250c, is established by startup Beta. Simply put, it is a quadrotor drone on steroids that adopts lithium-ion batteries for power, and uses 5 units of motors to actuate rotors and control directions. The ALIA-250c can take off and land vertically without the need of runways, and has a maximum load weight of 2,750kg that is able to accommodate 200 cubic feet of cargo.
Capable of flying for 250 miles (approx. 400km) under a full load status, this electric aircraft is more suited in handling short-distance and small transportation judging by its specifications, and manifests value especially when flying across complex terrains.
The 10 units of aircrafts ordered by UPS are expected to be delivered in 2024. In addition, UPS has also preserved the rights to extend the order to 150 units, as well as preordered the service of fast charging station, which fully charges the aircraft within an hour of time that can be used to reload cargo simultaneously.
“We believe that this is a profitable and innovative business for both the environment and our clients”, commented Juan Perez, CIO of UPS, who said that these aircrafts are able to elevate the operation efficiency of the company, initiate new service opportunities, and serve as the foundation for the company’s target of carbon reduction.
This is merely a small step for UPS who has tens of thousands of transportation, yet a major achievement for startup Beta, who primarily worked with United Therapeutics, and the mission of ALIA is to transport human organs from one hospital to another in a swift manner.
Apart from this major purpose, Beta has also participated in the Agility Prime program of the US Air Force, and has passed Phase III of the Initial Capabilities Opening. Owing to the quiet and lightweight properties of electric motor, the aircraft may become a main carrier for the US army in reconnaissance, medical care, and special missions.
(Photo source: Beta)