UPS partners with LA-based startup to develop electric delivery truck

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(Reuters) - United Parcel Service Inc UPS.N said it would partner with a Los Angeles-based company to develop an electric medium-duty delivery truck, as the package delivery company expands its fleet of alternative-fuel vehicles.

The truck, developed jointly with electric commercial vehicle startup Thor Trucks Inc, is expected to be deployed later this year, UPS said on Tuesday.

The truck will have a driving range of about 100 miles, with lightweight battery designed and built by Thor.

UPS will test the class-6 delivery truck for the first six months, including its battery capacity and technical integration, after which UPS may buy more of these trucks.

This will be a part of UPS’s plan of about 9,300 low-emission vehicles, including all-electric, hybrid electric and CNG, to understand which technology works best for some routes.

UPS has partnered with Workhorse Group Inc WKHS.O to build an all-new electric delivery van and it also has pre-ordered 125 electric semi-trucks from Tesla Inc TSLA.O.

Vehicle manufacturers such as Daimler AG DAIGn.DE and Navistar International Corp NAV.N, and a slew of new entrants, are racing to overcome the challenges of substituting batteries for diesel engines in delivery vehicles as regulators crack down on carbon dioxide and soot pollution.

Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel