Workhorse Group Inc. has announced the first operator to participate in its new FedEx Ground vehicle program.

Now on deck is Colonial Routes, Inc., a Farmington, New York-based company who has agreed to introduce Workhorse’s electric vehicle to its operations.

“We’re excited to become the first FedEx Ground ISP to add the Workhorse electric vehicle to our fleet and explore the benefits it offers on cost savings and reduced emissions,” said Paul Gillette, owner of Colonial Routes, Inc. “Electric vehicles are the future of transportation and delivery, and we’re thrilled to be on the front line.”

The program, now open to contractors nationwide,  will use two of Workhorse’s vehicles, the all-electric E-100, and the battery-electric E-GEN. According to Workhorse, the E-100 carries a 100-mile range on a single charge (depending on duty cycle) and the E-GEN delivers a 60-mile range (from plug), plus 60 more miles of extended range using a BMW range extender for a total range of 120 miles. All on 268-horsepower and a top speed of 67 mph.

According to the Workhorse Group website, its E-GEN sees a 400-percent improvement in fuel efficiency and a 60-percent or greater reduction in maintenance costs. Along with customized configurations, such as shelving and workflow to match today’s FedEx Group delivery trucks at a lesser cost, Workforce hopes to secure more contractors interested in the program.

To date, Workhorse Group has been very active in trying to secure delivery van collaborations with transport and delivery companies. In November, the U.S. Postal Service started a bidding process, which Workhorse Group Inc. entered, to replace its aging 180,000 mail trucks for a $6.3 billion jackpot contract. The winner of the vehicle contract will be announced in 2019.

In another move, Workhorse and Ryder System Inc., a logistics and fleet management provider, formed a partnership to service part of Workhorse’s electric car fleet with warranty and maintenance services using 800 of Ryders facilities across the country.