The company introduced this week the world’s first hydrogen-electric Class 6 delivery truck. The van, developed as part of a $10-million federal Department of Energy program, is the first of 17 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles the parcel delivery giant will be deploying in the U.S. by the end of 2018. This Class 6 medium-duty delivery truck that meets the same route and range requirements of UPS’s existing conventional fuel vehicles.

UPS has been working with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and other partners to design a first-of-its-kind, zero tailpipe emissions. Unlike fuel cell auxiliary power units, this vehicle will use the onboard fuel cell to generate electricity to propel the vehicle. It’s an important step toward demonstrating the commercial viability of zero tailpipe emissions trucks to fleet operators and the developing FCEV supply chain.

The first FCEV prototype will be deployed in Sacramento, California, where UPS will validate its design and core performance requirements by testing it on the street starting the third quarter of 2017. Current project plans call for additional UPS trucks to be validated with at least 5,000 hours of in-service operational performance. All of the trucks will be deployed in California due to that state’s ongoing investment in zero tailpipe emissions transportation and installment of hydrogen fueling stations around the state.