UPS and Work­horse Group are to col­lab­o­rate on de­sign­ing a plug-in zero-emis­sions elec­tric de­liv­ery ve­hi­cle, which will be tested on ur­ban routes across the United States, in­clud­ing At­lanta, Dal­las and Los An­ge­les.

There are ini­tial plans for 50 trucks – which will be cost-com­pa­ra­ble with con­ven­tion­ally fu­elled ve­hi­cles – to hit the road, ahead of a larger fleet be­ing de­ployed next year fol­low­ing any nec­es­sary fine-tun­ing.

Carl­ton Rose, Pres­i­dent, Global Fleet Main­te­nance and En­gi­neer­ing for UPS, said: “Elec­tric ve­hi­cle tech­nol­ogy is rapidly im­prov­ing with bat­tery, charg­ing and smart grid ad­vances that al­low us to spec­ify our de­liv­ery ve­hi­cles to elim­i­nate emis­sions, noise and de­pen­dence on diesel and gaso­line.

“Th­ese new elec­tric trucks will be a quan­tum leap for­ward… They will de­liver by day and re-charge overnight.”

It is ex­pected that the trucks will have a range of around 160 kilo­me­tres be­tween charges, mak­ing them ideal for de­liv­ery routes in and around cities.

UPS ex­pects the op­er­at­ing costs of the new plug-in elec­tric ve­hi­cles to be less than sim­i­larly equipped diesel or gaso­line ve­hi­cles.

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