U.S. Postal Service picks Oshkosh Defense for new mail trucks

By Chad Elmore24 February 2021

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has awarded Oshkosh Defense a contract to produce the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle.

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has awarded Oshkosh Defense, a wholly owned subsidiary of Oshkosh Corp. an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract to produce the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV), the USPS’s first large-scale fleet procurement in three decades. The competitively awarded contract allows for the delivery of between 50,000 and 165,000 vehicles over a period of 10 years.

USPS truck

“Oshkosh operates with unparalleled commitment to those who depend on our products and services to build, protect and serve communities around the world,” said John Pfeifer, President and Chief Operating Officer, Oshkosh Corp., Oshkosh, Wis. “We are honored to have been selected by the USPS to support their important work by manufacturing American-made Next Generation Delivery Vehicles that will connect every home and business across the United States for decades to come.”

Oshkosh Defense will manufacture zero-emission battery electric vehicles (BEV) and fuel-efficient low-emission internal combustion engine vehicles (ICE). Under the contract announced today, the USPS has committed to pay Oshkosh Defense $482 million to initiate engineering efforts to finalize the production vehicle design, and for tooling and factory build-out activities that are necessary prior to vehicle production.

“Our century-long history of delivering products to customers, operating in some of the most demanding and severe conditions on the planet, uniquely positions us to bring exceptional reliability, safety, and maintainability to USPS’s Next Generation Delivery Vehicles,” said John Bryant, executive vice president, Oshkosh Corporation, and president, Oshkosh Defense. “Partnering with trusted suppliers, we have developed a purpose-built solution to support the current and future needs of the USPS.”

The USPS said the investment is part of a soon-to-be-released plan it has developed to transform its financial performance and customer service over the next 10 years through significant investments in people, technology and infrastructure.

The contract is the first part of a multi-billion-dollar 10-year effort to replace the Postal Service’s delivery vehicle fleet, one of the world’s largest. The Postal Service fleet has more than 230,000 vehicles in every class, including both purpose-built and commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) vehicles. Approximately 190,000 deliver mail six, and often seven, days a week in every U.S. community. The NGDV, along with other COTS vehicles, will replace and expand the current delivery fleet, which includes many vehicles that have been in service for 30 years.

“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,” said Postmaster General and USPS Chief Executive Officer Louis DeJoy. “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.”

The NGDV vehicles will include air conditioning and heating, improved ergonomics, and advanced vehicle technology — including 360º cameras, advanced braking and traction control, air bags, a front- and rear-collision avoidance system that includes visual, audio warning, and automatic braking. The vehicles will also have increased cargo capacity to maximize efficiency and better accommodate higher package volumes stemming from the growth of eCommerce.

“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.”

The USPS awarded the Oshkosh Defense contract in accordance with competitive Postal Service procurement policies after extensive testing of prototype vehicles, evaluation of offered production proposals, and discussions of technical specifications. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

The first NGDVs are estimated to appear on carrier routes in 2023.

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