Update 4:00pm EST: The US Postmaster General told Congress today that only 10 percent of the new delivery trucks would be battery electric.
Original story 12:02pm EST: The United States Postal Service has decided on a new delivery vehicle. On Tuesday afternoon, the USPS awarded a 10-year, $485-million contract to Oshkosh Defense—better known for armored vehicles—to deliver between 50,000 and 165,000 Next Generation Delivery Vehicles, with the first trucks due on the road in 2023.
Neither the USPS nor Oshkosh is ready to share in-depth specs for the NGDV; Oshkosh still has to finalize the design, according to the press release. We do know that the new fleet will be made of a mix of powertrains. Some will be battery electric, but others will use “fuel-efficient internal combustion engines,” with the ability to be retrofitted “to keep pace with advances in electric vehicle technology.”
The rendered images certainly show a uniquely styled vehicle. The combination of an extremely low hood and very tall windshield gives it more than a little resemblance to a Pixar creation, but the payoff for this anatine look should be excellent forward visibility. Luckily for future postal workers, air conditioning is standard-issue, so they shouldn’t get too hot due to that expanse of glass trapping the Sun’s heat.
More attention appears to have been paid to driver and pedestrian safety than with the USPS’ current fire-prone Grumman LLV trucks. There are airbags, as well as a camera- and sensor-enabled suite of driver assists like automatic emergency braking.
Many had hoped that the USPS was going to choose an all-electric design for its next truck, particularly since President Joe Biden just vowed to electrify the federal government’s vehicle fleet.
Listing image by USPS