The United States Postal Service announced that it placed its initial Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV) delivery order with Oshkosh Defense at a cost of $2.98 billion. The first order is for 50,000 vehicles — a minimum of which will be for 10,019 battery electric vehicles.
“We are pleased to be moving forward with this much needed investment in our fleet,” said Postmaster General and USPS CEO Louis DeJoy in a release. “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.”
DeJoy said new vehicles are sorely needed, and many vehicles on the road today are more than 30 years old and lack basic safety features.
The Biden administration, along with elected officials and trade groups, have called for an all-electric fleet transformation. DeJoy said in a statement that the USPS must make fiscally prudent decisions and will continue to look for opportunities to increase fleet electrification. The Postal Service generally receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products, and services to fund its operations.
Unlike the current Long Life Delivery Vehicles (LLV), the NGDV will feature air conditioning, improved ergonomics, and some of the most advanced vehicle and safety technology — including 360-degree cameras, advanced braking and traction control, air bags, and a front-and rear-collision avoidance system that includes visual and audio warning and automatic braking. The vehicles will also have increased cargo capacity to maximize efficiency and better accommodate higher mail and package volumes.
It is expected the NGDVs will begin appearing on carrier routes in late 2023.