UPS is set to receive ten eVTOLs built by Beta in 2024, and the company says it can then purchase 150 more units as part of the agreement.
And at first glance, this partnership is likely to prepare UPS for a zero-emissions push that aligns with its always expanding alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles already deployed worldwide.
The eVTOL aircraft can fly for as much as 250 miles (400 km) per charge with zero emissions, being able to carry a load of up to 1,400 pounds (635 kg). Since it’s a vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, it requires less operating space without requiring other substantial infrastructure improvements thanks to four fixed vertical lift propellers and one pusher propeller.
And UPS says the aircraft can charge at a decided recharging station in less than one hour, thus allowing for rapid loading and unloading. When the batteries of eVTOLs reach the end of their lifecycle, they can be installed in the charging station to recharge the aircraft more efficiently.
“UPS has reserved BETA's recharging station for safe and rapid charging of the aircraft in under one hour to facilitate faster cargo loading and unloading. The charging station also offers the aircraft’s batteries a second life. After the batteries’ first lifecycle in the aircraft is over, they can be fitted to the charging station to recharge the aircraft’s onboard batteries as well as UPS’s fleet of electric ground vehicles,” UPS explains.
No financial details about the deal have been provided.