Why Is the New USPS Mail Truck So Controversial?
For the first time since the introduction of the Grumman LLV, the United States Postal Service is set to get a fleet of new mail trucks. But, things are not as simple as they appear, as USPS is in some hot water with its new delivery vehicles. The latest mail trucks will be built by Oshkosh, and the model is being called the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle, or NGDV. Due to the lack of EV orders, this truck has become quite controversial. So much so, that multiple states have entered into various lawsuits against the USPS.
What is the Oshkosh NGDV?
The Oshkosh NGDV stands for Next Generation Delivery Vehicle, and it is the mail truck that is being built by Oshkosh. As of March, the first order of 50,000 vehicles has been placed, despite complaints from the EPA. Surprisingly the controversy surrounding this vehicle is not because of its non-traditional looks, but rather what lies under the hood.
The NGDV has the ability to be an electric mail truck, but the USPS placed an order for a majority to come with a traditional combustion engine. When compared to the Grumman LLV, the gas engine makes only a slight improvement in terms of efficiency. So understandably, some are not all too happy about that.
Are new USPS mail trucks EVs?
The new Oshkosh NGDV does have the ability to offer an electric powertrain. But with the original deal between Oshkosh and USPS, only about 10% of the new orders were going to be EV models. The rest would be a traditional gas engine. As the agency received criticism, the number of EV mail trucks on order increased. But, that was not enough to stop multiple states from suing the USPS over the new mail trucks.
In the future, the USPS does have the ability to change its order with Oshkosh to consist of more electric mail trucks. But, according to Postmaster General Dejoy, the would require a significant budget increase to make happen.
When is the USPS getting new mail trucks?
Over the next decade, the USPS will be replacing its fleet of LLV mail trucks. This change comes after the Grumman LLV has been in service for well over 20 years. In 2015, USPS announced that it was accepting bids from companies interested in building the new mail truck.
Eventually, Oshkosh was awarded the contract, and finally, the company received an order to build the new trucks. According to MotorTrend, the Oshkosh NGDV will be built in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and production should start at some point in 2023.
Even though this new mail truck is not up to everyone’s standards, it will certainly be safer and more modern than the aging Grumman LLV. And ultimately, that is something that postal workers will likely appreciate. That is not to say that the LLV will not be missed, it has become an icon on American roads. But now a new mail truck is here and despite the controversy, it may be making deliveries sooner than you think.