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.
Workhorse Group is one of the 5 finalists in the contest to build the postal service’s next delivery truck #Spyshots https://t.co/QvpLTsPs1w pic.twitter.com/MzZdW9DdBL
— 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.
Image: Paul Sableman (CC BY 2.0)