As it waits to learn if it will win a massive order for delivery trucks from the U.S. Postal Service, electric commercial vehicle startup Workhorse Group said Monday that it received its largest order to date.
The Loveland, Ohio, startup said that Pride Group Enterprises will buy 6,320 C-Series all-electric delivery vehicles. The deal with the Ontario, Canada-based truck leasing and sales company is split between Workhorse’s C-1000 and C-650 models and is subject to various production and delivery conditions.
“Our new agreement with Pride marks our largest individual order to-date and expands our sales channel internationally into Canada for the first time,” said Duane Hughes, chief executive of Workhorse Group.
Hitachi Capital America is providing financing for the transaction. The companies did not make the terms of the deal public. Workhorse said it expects to deliver the first vehicles in July. Deliveries will continue through 2026.
Workhorse is one of three teams competing to build the U.S. Postal Services next-generation mail delivery truck. The post office has tested prototypes of the Workhorse electric truck and is in the process of how it will divvy orders for more than $6 billion in new vehicles. After numerous delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and other issues, the Postal Service says it plans to award contracts to one or more of the teams early this year.
The post office now uses about 140,000 Grumman Long Life Vehicles for its main delivery service. Manufactured from 1987 through 1994, they need to be replaced. A 2014 audit from the office of the USPS inspector general found that the current fleet was expected to only meet the delivery needs of the agency through the 2017 fiscal year.
The Pride deal shows that less specialized buyers are starting to show interest in Workhorse’s electric trucks portfolio.
“Workhorse’s last-mile delivery trucks continue to be in demand across North America, which has been highlighted from our dealer group surveys and is further illustrated by this large order from Pride,” said Kirk Mann, senior vice president and general manager of transportation finance at Hitachi Capital America.
Sam Johal, chief executive of Pride Group Enterprises, said the truck seller was looking to add last-mile delivery vehicles to its product offerings.
“It is one of the key steps we have taken over the past year towards achieving our future target of 100 percent electric vehicles,” Johal said.
Several startups and established automakers are jumping into the electric cargo van and delivery truck business. Rivian has a deal to provide 100,000 electric delivery trucks for Amazon. Ford is launching an electric version of its Transit cargo van. Mercedes-Benz is rolling out an electric version of its Sprinter van.