Expo 2020 Dubai

Expo 2020 Dubai: Solar-powered vans start delivering parcels across site

anjana@khaleejtimes.com Filed on October 3, 2021
Supplied photo

This type of e-vehicle is one of the first in the world.

In a first in the Middle East, electric delivery vehicles are being used to deliver equipment and parcels across Expo 2020 Dubai.

Two e-vans are deployed by UPS, Expo 2020’s official logistics partner, and DP World. The electric vehicles will use solar power to charge an off-grid battery energy storage system (BESS) unit which powers the charging station.


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“Today’s deployment of one of the world’s first off-grid electric vehicle charging systems is a demonstration of how Expo 2020 is connecting minds and creating the future,” said Scott Price, international president of UPS.

“Our joint efforts allow us to decentralise the charging system, eliminate the need for electricity in charging vehicles at Expo 2020, and further our goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.”

UPS had earlier introduced e-bikes and tricycles for delivery at the Expo. These new vehicles rely on sustainable delivery solutions to improve air quality, reduce congestion, and reduce carbon emissions.

UPS, a global logistics giant, said it has ordered 10,000 e-vehicles for over 220 countries it serves, with an aim of reducing its carbon footprint.

The vehicles are made by UK-based tech startup Arrival Ltd.

“We have ordered 10,000 of these vehicles. So, it is a pretty big reach,” said Price.

Though the company is yet to identify where they are going to start running routes, Price said Expo was the first site with two e-vans doing deliveries every single day.

Avinash Rugoobur, president of Arrival, said it is critically important that people move to a more sustainable, circular and equitable future. “And what we have out here is an electric van with zero emission and being powered by the sun off the grid to deliver packages.”

He said the vans are made of sustainable composite materials that can be recycled. “The way our technology works is the vehicle itself is upgradeable in hardware as well as software.”

Avinash said the vehicles are manufactured in micro factories in Spain, UK and the US, providing employment opportunities for local community and not in large factories with challenging environments.

Abdulla Bin Damithan, CEO and managing director of DP World–UAE Region and Jafza, said: “DP World is proud to work with UPS, demonstrating the next generation of delivery vehicles at Expo 2020 Dubai. We are committed to digital and technological innovation that makes supply chains smarter and more sustainable. The DP World FLOW pavilion has been designed to demonstrate the future of global trade, increasing prosperity while reducing the use of energy and resources. The collaboration between UPS and DP World addresses sustainability issues and is closely aligned with the UAE’s Circular Economy Policy 2021-2031 and its Green Agenda 2030.”



Anjana Sankar

Anjana Sankar is a UAE-based journalist chasing global stories of conflict, migration and human rights. She has reported from the frontlines of the wars in Yemen and Syria and has extensively written on the refugee crisis in Bangladesh, Iraq and Europe. From interviewing Daesh militants to embedding with the UAE army in Yemen, and covering earthquakes, floods, terrorist attacks and elections, she has come out scathe-free from the most dangerous conflict zones of the world. Riding on over 14 years of experience, Anjana currently is an Assistant Editor with Khaleej Times and leads the reporting team. She often speaks about women empowerment on her Facebook page that has 40,000 plus followers.

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