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UPS is building its own fleet of electric delivery trucks

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Partnering with truck maker Workhorse

UPS Posts Positive Quarterly Earnings, And Forecasts A Strong Holiday Season Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

UPS announced today that it would be building its own electric delivery trucks from scratch. It will partner with truck maker Workhorse Group Inc to build the first 50 vans that could eventually replace the delivery giant’s fleet of fossil fuel-burning vehicles.

The delivery EVs would have a range of 100 miles and will be delivered in 2018, UPS said. “We see this vehicle as being a game changer in the electric truck arena,” Carlton Rose, UPS’s president for global fleet maintenance and engineering, told Reuters. “It’s also an industry first because the acquisition cost is comparable to gas and diesel.”

The Atlanta-based company already has 35,000 gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles in its fleet. The Workhouse-built trucks would cost about the same as UPS’s conventional vehicles but would have a lower cost of ownership because they are cheaper on a per-mile basis.

The new vehicles will join UPS’s preexisting fleet of clean fuel-burning vans. The company has more than 300 electric vehicles deployed in Europe and the US, and nearly 700 hybrid electric vehicles. Last year, UPS put in an order for electric trucks from both Daimler and Tesla, which recently unveiled its own electric Semi.

Workhorse, which is based in Loveland, Ohio, is already testing its lightweight N-Gen model, which has a carbon composite frame, in California and Ohio for an unnamed customer. That vehicle weighs 5,500 pounds when empty, or about 5,000 pounds lighter than comparable vehicles.