The United States Postal Service (USPS) placed its initial order for 50,000 units of the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV) manufactured by Oshkosh Defense in a deal worth $2.98 billion.
A minimum of 10,019 vehicles (approximately 20%) of the first order will be battery electric vehicles (BEVs), double the previously targeted EV fleet. According to the USPS’s original plan, only about 10 percent of the NGDV fleet of 165,000 vehicles was to be all-electric.
Originally awarded in February 2021, the 10-year contract with Oshkosh Defense for the NGDV has been criticized by the Biden administration via the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for not being aggressive enough on electrification .
While under the revised plan, the USPS doubled the share of electric vehicles in its future fleet to 20%, the agency admitted that a 100% BEV blend would provide even greater emissions benefits. . That said, the US Postal Service notes that the program is designed to increase the BEV mixture as financial resources become available. Specifically, the NGDV contract allows the flexibility, when financing is provided, to increase the percentage of BEVs to be produced even after an order is placed.
“Since I came on board a year and a half ago, we have continuously evaluated and adjusted our vehicle purchasing strategy based on our future network initiatives, from the ongoing review of the BEV application to our operating strategy and our financial outlook as we begin our ongoing implementation of the Delivering for America plan.Based on this work and our outlook for improvement, we have determined that increasing our initial purchase of electric vehicles from 5,000 to 10,019 made operational and financial sense.
Postmaster General and USPS CEO Louis DeJoy
The executive added that the order placed with the Oshkosh Defense College demonstrates that the postal service is fully committed to including electric vehicles as a significant part of its delivery fleet, despite higher acquisition costs. DeJoy noted that the USPS needs to make careful budget decisions when introducing a new fleet of vehicles, adding that the agency will continue to look for ways to increase the electrification of its delivery fleet. .
“We will continue to seek opportunities to responsibly increase the electrification of our delivery fleet, consistent with our operating strategy, appropriate infrastructure deployment and financial position, which we expect to continue to improve as we go along. that we will continue with our plan.”
Many of the 190,000 USPS delivery vehicles on the road today are over 30 years old and lack basic safety features that are standard in most vehicles today.
Unlike current Long Life Delivery Vehicles (LLVs), the NGDV will feature air conditioning, improved ergonomics, increased cargo capacity, and more advanced vehicle and safety technology. Safety technology includes 360-degree cameras, advanced braking and traction control, airbags, a forward and rear collision avoidance system that includes visual, audio warning and automatic braking.
USPS plans to have the first NGDVs on carrier routes in late 2023.