UPS has so many electrification programs at this point that it is hard to keep up and yet, it is adding another one today.
The parcel delivery company is partnering with Los Angeles-based startup Thor to build a new electric truck.
We reported on Thor earlier this year when the startup came out of stealth mode by unveiling an electric semi truck prototype (pictured above) and plans to try to beat Tesla Semi to market.
They now won a contract with UPS to develop and test a fully-electric class 6 delivery truck.
Carlton Rose, President of global fleet maintenance and engineering for UPS, commented on the announcement:
“UPS believes in the future of commercial electric vehicles. We want to support the research needed to make advances and the companies developing those innovative products. Performance is critical in our fleet. We are excited to get this vehicle on the road to test how it handles routes in and around Los Angeles.”
They are targeting a relatively short driving range of “approximately 100 miles”, but they are also planning for an even shorter range of 50 miles – though that version will be less expensive with a targeted production price “as low as $68,000.”
Dakota Semler, co-founder and CEO of Thor Trucks, commented on the announcement:
“We’re excited about working with a forward-thinking company like UPS, particularly as our first collaboration. UPS is committed to sustainability and operates one of the most well-respected and complex fleets in the country. This is also an incredibly valuable opportunity to gain insight into what it will take to fulfill our mission of getting entire electric fleets on the road.”
Thor made two trucks, which UPS will test for six months. They released those two images:
The company says that testing will “include off-road evaluation to address durability, battery capacity, technical integration, engineering and any items found during on-road testing.”
They say that “depending on the success of the deployment, UPS may make additional purchases of the electric vehicle.”
It’s the latest of several efforts from UPS to electrify its massive fleet of delivery vehicles.
We reported on them deploying a small fleet of new neat-looking custom-built all-electric delivery trucks in London earlier this year.
They are converting ‘up to 1,500 delivery trucks’ to battery-electric in New York, they’ve already bought some of Daimler’s new electric trucks, and they’ve ordered 125 Tesla Semi trucks.
Finally, UPS has also placed orders for a fleet of 50 all-electric delivery trucks and another for 1,000 electric vans from Workhorse.