The US Postal Service (USPS) has announced changes of scope for its acquisition of Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDVs) to replace its ageing fleet. Under the adjusted scope, at least 50 percent of newly ordered NGDVs in the current contract are expected to be battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
This amounts to around 25,000 new electric delivery vehicles.
New NGDVs are expected to start servicing postal routes in late 2023.
The Postal Service says it anticipates evaluating and procuring vehicles over shorter time periods to be more responsive to its evolving operational strategy, technology improvements, and changing market conditions, including the expected increased availability of BEV options in the future.
In a press statement, it says: ‘The Postal Service anticipates having at least 40 percent BEV. The Postal Service reiterates its commitment to the fiscally responsible roll-out of electric-powered vehicles for America’s largest and oldest federal fleet’.
In February 2022, the USPS issued a Record of Decision to acquire up to 165,000 NGDV, with a commitment for at least 10 percent BEV.
This decision was expressly designed to provide the Postal Service the flexibility to acquire significantly more BEV NGDV should financial and operational circumstances permit.
Following this decision, the USPS announced in March 2022 a purchase of 50,000 NGDV from Oshkosh Defense, including 20 percent BEVs.
In a press statement released at the time, Postmaster General and USPS Chief Executive Officer, Louis DeJoy, commented: ”Since I came on board a year and a half ago, we have continuously evaluated and adjusted our vehicle purchase strategy based on our future network initiatives, ongoing review of BEV application to our operational strategy, and our financial outlook as we undertake our ongoing implementation of the Delivering for America plan. Based upon this work and our improving outlook, we have determined that increasing our initial electric vehicle purchase from 5,000 to 10,019 makes good sense from an operational and financial perspective.”
DeJoy added: “Many of our 190,000 delivery vehicles on the road are more than 30 years old and lack basic safety features which are standard in most vehicles today. The safety of the men and women of the Postal Service is our number one priority, and they have waited long enough for the NGDV.”
The NGDV will feature some of the most advanced vehicle and safety 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.