Thor Trucks will change its name to Xos after recreational vehicle maker Thor Industries Inc. filed a lawsuit claiming the electric truck startup infringed on its name.
The two companies agreed in January that the Thor Trucks name would go away. Thor decided against fighting the industrial conglomerate that includes Thor Motor Coach and other companies. Thor Industries earned $430 million on sales of $8.3 billion last year.
Los Angeles startup Thor Trucks will announce its new name, Xos, at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in Long Beach, Calif., next week.
“It is a setback. No question,” spokesman Kyle Arteaga told Trucks.com. “We had significant brand awareness. But we feel we can recover from this.”
Each company paid its own legal fees in the case filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. No financial settlement was mentioned in the final judgment and permanent injunction against Thor Trucks. Attorneys for Thor Industries did not immediately respond to calls for comment.
Thor Trucks has produced a prototype heavy-duty truck that runs on battery-powered electricity. It also has an agreement with United Parcel Service to test a pair of electric medium-duty delivery trucks in the Los Angeles area.
It has a partnership with Troy, Mich.-based AxleTech Inc. to create a specialized axle embedded with electric motors as the powertrain for its electric semi-tractors. Thor believes the design combined with its battery technology will have wide applications, allowing it to sell the integrated system to manufacturers of other vehicles.
“The dynamics of electrification are changing,” Arteaga said. “The political environment used to be, ‘Oh, that’s cool.’ Now you have people who really want to move into this space.”