Daimler has taken the lead over Tesla in the U.S. electric truck market, delivering its Mitsubishi Fuso eCanter electric trucks to UPS and other clients in New York City.

UPS is taking delivery of three of the electric medium-duty delivery trucks at “locations to be determined.” The delivery giant, and other clients, are signing deals for two-year leasing programs.

Four NYC-based non-profit organizations will also receive a small number of the eCanters – Habitat for Humanity, the Wildlife Conservation Society, New York Botanical Garden, and Big Reuse Brooklyn.

Tesla was originally going to launch its electric semi-truck this month. CEO Elon Musk yesterday tweeted that the reveal would be postponed until Oct. 26.

There are a handful of small companies manufacturing and selling medium-duty electric work trucks to fleets in the U.S. Chinese company BYD is preparing to serve the electric truck market from its Lancaster, Calif., plant that has been building and delivering electric buses to transit agencies.

Daimler and Tesla are the first major passenger vehicle makers to take electric commercial trucks seriously.

Daimler has entered the heavy-duty electric truck market in Europe with its heavy duty all-electric Urban eTruck. It’s being tested with potential customers in Germany and will later spread throughout Europe.

Daimler Trucks operates a few major players in the commercial truck market, including Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp., Freightliner, and the Mercedes-Benz truck division.

The German automaker started production this summer for 25 eCanter electric trucks that will be sent to 7-Eleven. The retail chain will be using the electric trucks in Japan.

Toyota is delivering fuel cell trucks to 7-Eleven in Japan.

With its range of about 62 miles per charge, the eCanter is best suited for urban settings and delivery services. The electric truck has six battery packs that produce about 83 kWh of energy.

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The eCanter can carry up to four passengers and a half ton of cargo. Diesel trucks can carry more weight, but Daimler is selling the advantages of the zero emissions, quiet truck.

There are also gains to be made in fleet costs. The truck maker says the eCanter will save about $2,000 in operating costs for every 10,000 miles driven.

UPS is well known for trying out the latest in clean vehicle technologies in its global fleet including natural gas, propane autogas, and hybrid and electric vehicles.

The Verge