UPS agrees to help develop, test new Thor electric delivery truck

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California-based electric truck startup Thor Trucks is about a year from debuting their Class 8 ET-One tractor but their efforts in lighter GVWRs just got a major shot in the arm.

Shipping giant UPS announced Tuesday a collaboration with the truck maker to develop and test a fully electric Class 6 delivery truck in Los Angeles, Calif., later this year.

Carlton Rose, UPS president of global fleet maintenance and engineering, says UPS will test the medium-duty electric delivery truck as part of its fleet for six months. Testing will include off-road evaluation to address durability, battery capacity, technical integration, engineering and any items found during on-road testing. Depending on the success of the deployment, Rose UPS may make additional purchases of the vehicle.

“UPS believes in the future of commercial electric vehicles,” Rose says. “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.”

Thor Trucks CEO and co-founder Dakota Semler says the chance to work with UPS is valuable opportunity for his company to gain insight into what it will take to fulfill its mission of getting entire electric fleets on the road.

UPS’s is far from a newcomer into the electric truck space. The company already uses electric vehicles and works with a wide array of manufacturers including ARRIVAL, Daimler, Tesla, Thor, Workhorse and others. UPS deploys about 9,300 low-emission vehicles, including all-electric, hybrid electric, hydraulic hybrid, ethanol, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) and propane.