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UPS Bets on Electric Aircraft to Get Packages to the Hinterlands

  • Courier buys 10 vehicles from Stone Point Capital-backed Beta
  • EVs are part of industry push into next-generation technology
Artist rendering of a UPS branded Beta Technologies ALIA-250 electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft
Artist rendering of a UPS branded Beta Technologies ALIA-250 electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraftSource: United Parcel Service Inc.
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United Parcel Service Inc. is buying 10 small electric-powered aircraft that take off like helicopters and fly like planes, aiming to reduce its costs from contracting with small air freighters to reach far-flung areas.

The first delivery of the ALIA-250 from Stone Point Capital-backed Beta Technologies is expected in 2024, UPS said in a statement Wednesday, and the courier has an option to acquire as many as 150. While the vehicles will be piloted, UPS already envisions drone versions that could fly on their own and would be less costly to operate.