The US Postal Service is in the process of selecting a replacement for its aging fleet of delivery vans. Of the 215,000 mail trucks in operation, 140,000 are at least two decades old. The agency began real-world testing of prototypes at several locations around the country in October.
USPS plans to replace up to 180,000 trucks over the course of 7 years, an estimated $6.3 billion worth of business. It has narrowed its search to five vehicles, and says that the winner of the contract will be announced in early 2018.
— TrucksDotCom (@trucksdotcom) October 9, 2017
The agency has expressed interest in choosing an electrified model, but it’s unclear exactly what types of powertrains are being tested. A partnership between Karsan and Morgan Olson is offering a vehicle with a body from Morgan Olson and hybrid technology from Karsan. Mahindra is presenting a truck that uses a GM gas engine and “may be available with a mild hybrid powertrain option.”
Of the five contenders, only one, a joint project between VT Hackney and Workhorse, seems to feature a plug-in powertrain. This entry is described as an electric vehicle that shares many components with the Workhorse W-15 PHEV pickup truck. Ohio-based Workhorse built the chassis and VT Hackney made the body. A small BMW gasoline engine acts as a range extender.