Xos, the new name for electric truck startup Thor Trucks, will retrofit two Loomis Armored US cash-hauling trucks. An order for 100 more trucks awaits if the test models prove their worth.
Xos will deliver the Class 6 medium-duty electric armored vehicles as part of a pilot program. Loomis will evaluate the vehicles for 90 days before deciding whether to more order trucks, which would primarily be used in California.
The Xos-built SV01 truck qualifies for a $90,000 incentive under California’s Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project.
“It seems like a logical choice,” said Sam Abuelsamid, an analyst with Navigant Research. “Armored trucks operate mostly in urban areas. So, they don’t need a huge amount of range. Electricity makes a lot of sense in reducing costs and emissions.”
Loomis is the largest integrated cash-distribution network in the U.S., with nearly 200 locations, 9,000 employees and more than 3,000 vehicles. The Xos/Loomis truck is on display at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo this week in Long Beach, Calif.
“Electric vehicles make a lot of sense for cash-in-transit companies,” said Dakota Semler, chief executive of Xos. “They do a lot of idling in city centers as money is loaded in and out of the vehicles.”
Xos has existing electrification pilot programs with United Parcel Service and others. UPS will test two medium-duty electric delivery trucks in the Los Angeles area.
The startup successfully demonstrated a prototype of its ET-1 heavy-duty truck, capable of hauling 80,000 pounds of freight 100 miles on a single electric charge.
“The weight penalty of the batteries compared to an internal combustion engine is not an issue because the payload is relatively lightweight,” said Antti Lindstrom, an analyst with IHS Markit. “The operating routes are ideal for charging because the vehicles return to home base for the night and can be plugged in.”
FORCED NAME CHANGE
Xos recently was forced to change its name from Thor Trucks after RV maker Thor Industries sued for name infringement.
Xos is short for exosphere – the outermost section of the planet’s atmosphere. It better represents the company’s development of cutting-edge technologies while building hardware for commercial vehicles, said Gio Sordoni, Xos chief operating officer.
“Electrification encompasses so much more than just hardware, which gives us lots of opportunities to expand in directions we weren’t thinking about in the early days of the company,” he said.