UPS to Buy eVTOL Aircraft From BETA Technologies to Speed Up Package Deliveries in Small Markets

By McKenzie Carpenter Wednesday, April 7, 2021

UPS logo on side of delivery truck.

Today, the United Parcel Service, or UPS, announced the business would be buying 10 electrical vertical takeoff landing, or eVTOL, aircraft from aerospace technology startup company BETA Technologies.

About Each Company

UPS is an American international package delivery and supply chain management business that operates in more than 220 countries and territories around the world. The company claims it has more than 540,000 employees globally, with 11.2 million package pick-up and delivery customers and about 21.9 million packages delivered daily. Google Finance reports the business has an estimated net worth of $150.23 billion.

BETA Technologies is a Vermont-based startup company that specializes in aerospace technologies for faster, cleaner, and more efficient transportation solutions. Founded in 2017, the startup company has the vision to “simplify and amplify access to the vertical dimension of mobility.” BETA Technologies produces eVTOL aircraft, ALIA 250c and ALIA 250, for cargo and passenger transportation, powered by its proprietary battery propulsion technology. The startup company has established rapid charging stations for the eVTOL aircraft all across the North East.

UPS to Buy BETA Technologies eVTOL Aircraft

According to the press release, the delivery business will be purchasing 10 eVTOL aircraft from BETA Technologies as part of the UPS Flight Forward subsidiary to augment its air service for small and mid-size markets. The purchase amount of the eVTOLs was undisclosed.

Flight Forward has primarily focused on drone delivery of medical samples and supplies and has even tested package delivery in rural areas while UPS delivery trucks continue on routes. Flight Forward is the first drone airline to receive Part 135 certification from the United States (US) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Since the eVTOL aircraft designed by the aerospace startup company are so durable with a 250-mile range and reach speeds up to 170 miles per hour, it allows for the delivery business to create short or long routes on a single charge.

Juan Perez, chief information and engineering officer for UPS, said in the press release, “This is all about innovation with a focus on returns for our business, our customers, and the environment...These new aircraft will create operational efficiencies in our business, open possibilities for new services, and serve as a foundation for future solutions to reduce the emissions profile of our air and ground operation.”

The eVTOL aircraft created by the startup company will be able to take off and land at UPS property locations and will help push the Flight Forward mission for transportation of medical supplies and samples for healthcare providers. Additionally, the press release stated that the use of eVTOL aircraft will decrease carbon emissions, and the charging stations can also recharge electric-powered ground vehicles.

Founder and CEO of the aerospace startup company, Kyle Clark, added in the press release, “By utilizing vertical takeoffs and landings, we can turn relatively small spaces at existing UPS facilities into a micro air feeder network without the noise or operating emissions of traditional aircraft.”

The first 10 eVTOL aircraft from BETA Technologies are scheduled to begin arriving in 2024, with an option to purchase 150 more.

About the Author


Headshot of McKenzie Carpenter

McKenzie Carpenter is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations and French. McKenzie has previously worked for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

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