The USPS is doubling its order of next-gen electric mail trucks

Despite previously saying that it would only order 5,000 all-electric models of its next-gen postal truck, today the USPS announced that it’s doubling that figure to just over 10,000.

Produced by Oshkosh Defense, the NGDV (Next Generation Delivery Vehicle) is slated to become the new workhorse of the USPS, with the first batch of trucks scheduled to hit the road sometime in 2023. And as part of the USPS’ efforts to upgrade its aging fleet, the service placed an initial order of 50,000 vehicles featuring a mix of gas and electric-powered trucks.

However, after learning that only 10 percent of those trucks would be EVs, the EPA and the Biden Administration requested the USPS to reconsider the distribution of its order. So now the USPS has increased the number of new electric postal trucks on order to 10,019 BEVs, which is a significant improvement, but still in the minority compared to gas-powered models.

Postmaster Lous Dejoy says “Today’s order demonstrates, as we have said all along, that the Postal Service is fully committed to the inclusion of electric vehicles as a significant part of our delivery fleet even though the investment will cost more than an internal combustion engine vehicle . That said, as we have also stated repeatedly, we must make fiscally prudent decisions in the needed introduction of a new vehicle fleet. We will continue to look for opportunities to increase the electrification of our delivery fleet in a responsible manner, consistent with our operating strategy, the deployment of appropriate infrastructure, and our financial condition, which we expect to continue to improve as we pursue our plan.”

Upgrades on the NGDV include air conditioning, built-in 360-degree cameras, better braking and traction control, and much improved safety thanks to things like air bags and a new collision avoidance system. That said, with the USPS having over 190,000 trucks currently in service, this initial 50,000 order only represents a fraction of what the service will need to fully modernize its fleet. So while the mix of gas and electric NGDVs might not be ideal right now, there should be room to expand electrification in the future.

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