UPS and electric truck maker Thor Trucks are collaborating on a fully electric Class 6 to be developed and tested in Los Angeles.
The truck is expected to be ready to deploy later this year, according to UPS. It will have a driving range of approximately 100 miles and is powered by a Thor-designed and built battery made to be lightweight and durable.
The plan is for UPS to test the medium-duty delivery truck in in fleet operations for six months. Testing will include both on- and off-road evaluations where aspects such as durability, battery capacity, and technical integration can be studied.
“UPS is committed to sustainability and operates one of the most well-respected and complex fleets in the country,” said Dakota Semler, co-founder and CEO of Thor Trucks. “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.”
This is the latest project to be announced as part of UPS’s Rolling Laboratory approach that deploys low-emissions vehicles in the real world to determine what technology works best on each route. So far the company has 9,300 low-emissions vehicles including all-electric, hybrid electric, compressed natural gas, and other alternative powertrain types. On the electric vehicle front, UPS is working with several manufacturers including Arrival, Daimler, Tesla, Thor, and Workhorse.
As a company UPS has announced several initiatives to lower its environmental impact. It has a 2020 goal of making one in four new vehicles purchased an alternative fuel or advanced technology vehicle. The company also set a goal of replacing 40% of all ground fuel with sources other than conventional gasoline and diesel. Ultimately, UPS has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions from global ground operations 12% by 2025.
“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,” said Carlton Rose, president, global fleet maintenance and engineering for UPS. “Performance is critical in our fleet."