Brown Goes Green To Try Zero Emission Deliveries
As the race to electrify just about everything continues to grow in speed and ferocity, UPS and the Los Angeles-based startup, Thor Trucks Inc., are now the next two companies joining forces to test some new zero emission technology.
Recently, UPS announced that it would be testing Thor’s new, medium-duty, fully-electric trucks. Developed with input from UPS, the electric trucks will reportedly have a range of about 100 miles and are expected to be ready for deployment later this year.
According to UPS, it will test six of the trucks over a period of six months; and if all goes well, it will purchase more vehicles at the end of the trial period.
“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. We are excited to get this vehicle on the road to test how it handles routes in and around Los Angeles.”
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This new collaboration is another push by UPS to increase the number of low-emissions vehicles it deploys in its fleet. Over the past few years, the logistics company has worked with a variety of manufacturers in order to create its current fleet of about 9,100 low-emission vehicles, including all-electrics, hybrid-electrics, hydraulic hybrids, ethanol-, compressed natural gas-, liquified natural gas- and propane-fueled models.
No specific numbers have yet been released on the drivetrain, cost or battery size of Thor’s electric trucks, but the startup seems confident in its product.
“We’re excited about working with a forward-thinking company like UPS, particularly as our first collaboration,” 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.”
Delivery trucks are not the only segment Thor has its eye on, however. Late last year, the startup unveiled a, Tesla Semi competitor, a heavy-duty Class 8 electric truck. Called the ET-One, this fully electric semi is supposed to have a 300-mile range.
While Thor Trucks might be headed in the right direction, it seems that, in the current world of EVs, promises are easy to come by, but results are much harder. As vehicles that drive hundreds of miles every day and create large amounts of pollution in the process, the question is no longer ‘should truck fleets become entirely electrified?” but ‘who will be the one to do so?’.
Thor is seeking to enter a field that is already seeing competitors delivering product with more to come. Chanje, a Chinese truck maker, delivered its first Class 5 electric delivery van last year and recently inked a large volume order with its partner Ryder. Both Daimler Trucks and Volvo Trucks have announced they will have similar vans available for sale next year.
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