UPS partners with LA-based startup to develop electric delivery truck

FILE PHOTO: Vehicles of United Parcel Service are seen at the new package sorting and delivery UPS hub in Corbeil-Essonnes and Evry, southern Paris, France, June 26, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

(Reuters) – United Parcel Service Inc (UPS.N) said it would partner with a Los Angeles-based company to develop an electric medium-duty delivery truck, as the package delivery company expands its fleet of alternative-fuel vehicles.

FILE PHOTO: Vehicles of United Parcel Service are seen at the new package sorting and delivery UPS hub in Corbeil-Essonnes and Evry, southern Paris, France, June 26, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

The truck, developed jointly with electric commercial vehicle startup Thor Trucks Inc, is expected to be deployed later this year, UPS said on Tuesday.

A United Parcel Service (UPS) truck on delivery is pictured in downtown Los Angeles, California October 29, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Blake

The truck will have a driving range of about 100 miles, with lightweight battery designed and built by Thor.

UPS will test the class-6 delivery truck for the first six months, including its battery capacity and technical integration, after which UPS may buy more of these trucks.

This will be a part of UPS’s plan of about 9,300 low-emission vehicles, including all-electric, hybrid electric and CNG, to understand which technology works best for some routes.

UPS has partnered with Workhorse Group Inc (WKHS.O) to build an all-new electric delivery van and it also has pre-ordered 125 electric semi-trucks from Tesla Inc (TSLA.O).

Vehicle manufacturers such as Daimler AG (DAIGn.DE) and Navistar International Corp (NAV.N), and a slew of new entrants, are racing to overcome the challenges of substituting batteries for diesel engines in delivery vehicles as regulators crack down on carbon dioxide and soot pollution.

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