The Atlanta-based parcel giant said it plans to test Thor’s medium-duty truck for six months with a company driver behind the wheel in the Los Angeles area, one of the most congested metropolitan regions in the United States.
UPS wants “to support the research needed to make advances and the companies developing those innovative products,” said Carlton Rose, president of global fleet maintenance and engineering.
Rose added: “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.”
Thor, based in Los Angeles, is already working on its Class 8 ET-One fully electric heavy-duty truck. A prototype was on display earlier this year at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo.
The Class 6 trucks under development with UPS have a driving range of about 100 miles, and is powered by a Thor-designed battery. A full charge takes about one hour, and the vehicle body is being produced by Morgan Olson.
Thor said it hopes the vehicles will be commercially available in early 2019, and is targeting a production price for a model with a 50-mile range starting at $68,000.
Earlier this year, UPS was honored with Fleet Owner’s “Greet Fleet of the Year” award for its many various steps to test alternatives to diesel fuel and gasoline. The company has set a goal of having one-quarter of its fleet using alternative fuels by 2020.