The US Postal Service (USPS) plans to purchase 10,019 electric mail trucks from Wisconsin’s Oshkosh Defense as part of its Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV) program, it confirmed on Friday.
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USPS had originally committed to purchasing about 5,000 battery electric vehicles (BEVs), representing only 10% of the total number of the Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDVs) it planned to buy.
The White House, Democratic lawmakers, and environmental groups sharply criticized the Postal Service for not ordering more electric vehicles to address climate change.
Apparently, the criticism convinced the Postal Service to double its original order of electric NGDVs. This is, however, still a drop in the bucket compared to the total number of vehicles USPS operates today.
Although this small gesture is an improvement, it is unlikely to calm critics who believe USPS should be doing more to reduce its CO2 emissions.
The $2.98 billion contract with Oshkosh Defense will continue to include about 40,000 gasoline-powered NGDVs to replace portions of the US Postal Service’s fleet of 190,000 delivery vehicles.
“We are pleased to be moving forward with this much needed investment in our fleet. Since I came on board a year and a half ago, we have continuously evaluated and adjusted our vehicle purchase strategy based on our future network initiatives, ongoing review of BEV application to our operational strategy, and our financial outlook as we undertake our ongoing implementation of the Delivering for America plan. Based upon this work and our improving outlook, we have determined that increasing our initial electric vehicle purchase from 5,000 to 10,019 makes good sense from an operational and financial perspective.”Postmaster General and USPS Chief Executive Officer Louis DeJoy
USPS NGDVs to Appear on Carrier Routes in 2023
The NGDV will feature improved ergonomics, air conditioning, and the most advanced vehicle and safety technology – including 360-degree cameras, advanced braking, traction control, air bags, and a front and rear collision avoidance system that includes visual and audio warnings.
To optimize efficiency and accommodate higher mail and package volumes, vehicles will also have increased cargo capacity.
NGDVs are expected to begin appearing on carrier routes in late 2023.
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