In early 2015, the United States Postal Service announced it was in search of a new truck to deliver mail. The Grumman LLV was starting to show its age, and it became clear that it was time for a replacement. So, by 2021, the new contract was awarded to Oshkosh Defense, who would be in charge of building the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle, or NGDV. But, the Oshkosh NGDV has not been without controversy, and it took until March of 2022 for USPS to finally place an order for its 2023 mail truck.
After complaints from the EPA, USPS moves forward with the NGDV
When it comes to government, nothing moves all that fast, and the same applies to the United States Postal Service and its new mail truck. But finally, the agency has placed an order for over 50,000 Oshkosh NGDV models to be delivered at some point in 2023.
According to MotorTrend, this order comes after criticisms from the Biden administration and the EPA with concerns about efficiency and the lack of EV powertrains. The requests wanted at least 20% of new NGDV mail trucks to be battery-powered. Or, at least a mail truck that could function more efficiently. Which apparently, the Oshkosh NGDV is not the best at.
The 2023 Oshkosh NGDV is a controversial new mail truck
Oshkosh Defense is no stranger to working with government contracts, as the company does have experience building military buildings. Its version of the NGDV can be had as both an EV or a truck with a traditional combustion engine. According to MotorTrend, when equipped with a gas engine, the efficiency can fall under 10 mpg. Which is not great for a modern vehicle.
The problems with the EPA and Biden administration arose when the USPS order for the NGDV only called for 10% of new mail trucks to be electric. But, by design, the USPS has more autonomy than other government agencies, so the organization was able to reject these calls and move forward with the truck order.
In the future, more EV mail trucks could enter production, especially if an increased budget is offered.
How much does USPS’s new mail truck cost?
For the first order of 50,000 NGDVs, the cost is estimated to be $2.98 billion. Roughly 10,000 of the first 2023 NGDV mail trucks will be electric models, and they have a higher initial cost than the gas variant. Oshkosh Defense does note that orders can be changed after they are placed. So down the line, we could always see more NGDV models with an electric powertrain.
The Oshkosh NGDV will be built in South Carolina starting in 2023. And, while it may have issues in terms of efficiency, it will surely be more comfortable for your mail carrier to drive and likely safer. That said, this 2023 USPS mail truck does have a quirky look about it. The front end appears to be squished, but with a massive front windshield, visibility will likely be improved when compared to the outgoing delivery vehicle.