The U.S. Postal Service has unveiled the new design of mail trucks that will appearing in American communities in 2023.
The Postal Service said in a news release Tuesday that it has awarded a 10-year contract to Oshkosh Defense for the vehicles, which look radically different from traditional mail trucks.
The release said it has been three decades since mail trucks were overhauled.
“Under the contract’s initial $482 million investment, Oshkosh Defense will finalize the production design of the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV) — a purpose-built, right-hand-drive vehicle for mail and package delivery — and will assemble 50,000 to 165,000 of them over 10 years,” the Postal Service said.
USPS undertook a major step toward an investment in its future with a production contract for a next generation delivery vehicle. The vehicle award is part of a 10-year plan to improve customer service, achieve financial stability and better support the postal workforce.
— U.S. Postal Service (@USPS) February 23, 2021
The release said that there will be options under the hood.
“The vehicles will be equipped with either fuel-efficient internal combustion engines or battery electric powertrains and can be retrofitted to keep pace with advances in electric vehicle technologies. The initial investment includes plant tooling and build-out for the U.S. manufacturing facility where final vehicle assembly will occur,” it said.
“The USPS NGDVs should be electrified as a matter of urgency,” Robbie Diamond, president of the anti-fossil-fuel group Securing America’s Future Energy, told CNN.
“This contract is a golden opportunity to stimulate the domestic EV market and supply chain, and a commitment to electrifying the NGDV would provide a clear incentive for further domestic EV industry development,” Diamond said.
President Joe Biden said in January that he wants to convert the federal vehicle fleet to electric vehicles, but he has not announced the details of his plan.
The design drew significant discussion on Twitter.
It looks like every vehicle I drew in Kindergarten. Not saying that’s a bad thing.
— Freakin’ Reviews (@freakinreviews) February 24, 2021
Adorable and finally, something that is necessary and long overdue considering how much the USPS does daily. My upmost respect goes out to those troopers and the hopefully better functioning mail truck running smoothly.
— Priscilla Bui (@Priscilla9993) February 25, 2021
The trucks look like this guy pic.twitter.com/Yydiwo3kkj
— Amanda B (@amandajpanda) February 24, 2021
I love it, I feel like Pixar had a hand in the design, and I’m here for it.
— VengefulVixen (@VixenVengeful) February 25, 2021
one of the top 10 ugliest vehicles I have ever seen.
— robruckus65 (@robruckus65) February 25, 2021
It is cute.
Can’t tell if it’s the head of a robot dog or a rolling mailbox.
Either way, adorable.
I want mail!
— The Busiest Man in the World (@ProfessorBerman) February 25, 2021
The Postal Service said it currently operates 230,000 vehicles, with about 190,000 used to deliver mail to customers.
“As the American institution that binds our country together, the U.S. Postal Service can have a bright and modern future if we make investments today that position us for excellence tomorrow,” Postmaster General and USPS Chief Executive Officer Louis DeJoy said in a statement.
“The NGDV program expands our capacity for handling more package volume and supports our carriers with cleaner and more efficient technologies, more amenities, and greater comfort and security as they deliver every day on behalf of the American people,” he said.
The new mail trucks “will include air conditioning and heating, improved ergonomics, and some of the most advanced vehicle technology — including 360-degree cameras, advanced braking and traction control, air bags, a front- and rear-collision avoidance system that includes visual, audio warning, and automatic braking,” the release said.
The design has “more cargo capacity to maximize efficiency and better accommodate higher package volumes stemming from the growth of eCommerce,” it said.
“Our fleet modernization also reflects the Postal Service’s commitment to a more environmentally sustainable mix of vehicles,” DeJoy said. “Because we operate one of the largest civilian government fleets in the world, we are committed to pursuing near-term and long-term opportunities to reduce our impact on the environment.”
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