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UPS will build 'medium-duty' delivery truck for its electric fleet

It's electrifying virtually every part of its courier business.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
August 1, 2018
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Patrick Gorski/NurPhoto via Getty Images

UPS' quest to electrify its trucks includes both giant semis and smaller last-mile trucks, but not so many of the vehicles in between. It might rectify that solution soon -- the courier company has teamed up with Thor Trucks to build and test a "medium-duty" electric delivery truck. While it's still in the early stages, the machine would use a "lightweight, durable" Thor battery that would enable a range of about 100 miles.

The finished truck will go through about six months of testing in the Los Angeles area. Whether or not you see more of it will hinge on that initial performance. It's understandable why UPS is cautious -- this is Thor's first partnership, so it's relatively new to the field.

Electric delivery trucks have been around for a while, but they still pose a challenge compared to passenger car EVs. They need enough range to haul multiple heavy loads per day, and they don't usually have the luxury of a sleek aerodynamic profile. UPS' partnerships with multiple companies suggest that it's determined to solve that problem by seeing what works for different roles, and committing to successful designs.

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