America’s iconic brown delivery van has had a modern revamp courtesy of Britain

The Routemaster bus. The black cab. The Fiat 500. The Mini. Over the years, plenty of iconic vehicles have had a modern reboot. And now it’s the turn of another, that iconic brown delivery van with those rad sliding doors: UPS’s delivery van.

And like the new hackney carriage, it’s embraced EV technologies courtesy of UK electric-van maker, Arrival. They received quite the order from the United Parcel Service – 20,000 of their custom vans in a deal worth hundreds of millions. Looks like the British start-up’s Christmas party is going to be a good one this year. Milkybars are on them!

UPS ordered 10,000 of their purpose-built EV vans that will be rolled out between 2020 and 2024 from Arrival’s plant in Bicester and Banbury, as well as a new plant in Reading and one facility on the other side of the Atlantic in New Jersey. After that, there’s the option to purchase another 10,000 in 2023.

The final UPS design is not locked in as the deal is also the investment to prototype and manufacturer the next-gen of mail delivery via a brown van. But it’ll be based on Arrival’s Gen 2 van design and architecture that’s currently being trialed by the Royal Mail and UPS. Like most EVs, it’s based on a skateboard chassis and constructed of composite materials to save weight. Arrival’s aim is to make EV vanning easier and cheaper, claiming a 50 per cent reduction to the total cost of ownership compared to traditional petrol or diesel vans whilst being able to do 300 miles on a charge and capable of lugging a payload of 4,250 kg.

As you can see, the Arrival van is a hell of a lot more curvy and bubblicious than the boxy brown vans of the past but its face is a bit camera shy. However, there’s a massive glass screen and we’re told that they’ll be pumped with safety equipment and elements to prevent fatigue. Better than loud rock music and air conditioning, then.

So, are you ready for your future Nespresso delivery to look like this? Whether this deal will change the UPS driver’s attitude of shot putting your delivery over the fence, frizbeeing it to your front door, or playing knock down ginger with your missed delivery form if you’re not in is still unknown. We just hope it has a rad slidey door.