Business News: USPS reveals next-generation mail truck with electric drive option.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) unveiled its new mail truck after a year-long competition. The new truck will be built by Oshkosh, a Wisconsin-based defense contractor, and can be equipped with gasoline or electric powertrains. But it won’t be available until 2023.
Oshkosh winning the contract could be a major blow to Workhorse, one of three remaining bidders. The company’s stock price plummeted after the announcement and trading was halted several times.
The USPS has been trying for years to replace its existing postal trucks and has started collecting bids for new projects as early as 2015. The need for new trucks is urgent. Not only are the trucks that are currently on the road woefully outdated – they don’t even have air conditioning – but they also pose a serious fire risk.
USPS and Oshkosh are not saying exactly how many of the trucks will run on gas and how many on electricity, only that the plan is to do both and that the vehicles will be designed so that the powertrains can be converted to electricity over time. The USPS says gas engines will be “fuel efficient with low emissions,” but did not specify what those terms mean.
President Biden said in January that he wants to replace the entire government fleet with electric motors, but that won’t be possible without the USPS, which accounts for about a third of those vehicles.
“It is disappointing that today’s announcement does not immediately commit to electrifying one of our nation’s largest fleets,” Robbie Diamond, CEO of nonprofit Securing America’s Future Energy, said in a statement. “This contract is a golden opportunity to stimulate the domestic electric vehicle market and supply chain, and a commitment to electrify the [postal vehicle fleet] would provide a clear incentive for the further development of the domestic electric vehicle industry along the entire supply chain, from minerals to the markets. “
Workhorse was the last remaining bidder with a fully electric vehicle and struggled hard to survive as a company only to get to the end of this process. The company sold a small drone division, apparently started with Lordstown Motors to make an electric pickup truck without Workhorse luggage, and even paid $ 7 million to buy its original partner in the offering, truck maker VT Hackney. . Workhorse even fixed the fine print of a recent loan so that he would pay less interest if he won the USPS contract.