The U.S. Postal Service delivered the news – the decade long contract for the next generation of postal delivery vehicles goes to Oshkosh, WI-based Oshkosh Defense.
Under the contract’s initial $482 million investment, Oshkosh Defense will finalize the production design of the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV), considered to serve as the most dramatic modernization of the USPS fleet in 30 years. The NGDV is a purpose-built, right-hand-drive vehicle for mail and package delivery — and Oshkosh will assemble 50,000 to 165,000 of them over 10 years.
Following in alignment with the growing trend towards electric vehicles (EVs), the new batch of NGDVs will either offer fuel-efficient internal combustion engines or battery electric powertrains, in addition to retrofit capabilities to keep pace with ongoing advances in EV technologies. The initial investment includes plant tooling and build-out for the U.S. manufacturing facility where final vehicle assembly will occur.
The contract is the first part of a multi-billion-dollar 10-year effort to replace the USPS’s aging fleet – one of the world’s largest with more than 230,000 vehicles in every class, including both purpose-built and commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) vehicles. 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. The award is an indefinite delivery contract, meaning that after an initial dollar commitment, USPS will have the ongoing ability to order more NGDV for the next ten years. The first NGDVs are estimated to appear on carrier routes in 2023.
“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 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.”
The NGDV vehicles 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 vehicles will also have increased cargo capacity to maximize efficiency and better accommodate higher package volumes stemming from the growth of eCommerce.