USPS Is Reportedly Testing U.S.-Built EV Mail Bikes

Consumers aren’t the only ones making a switch to EVs. Businesses that use delivery vehicles are also getting on the bandwagon with the best alternative to gasoline-powered trucks, the USPS being one of them. The Postal Service initially planned to use a Next Generation Delivery Vehicle. It is also testing e-bikes. Will these bikes be beneficial, and is the USPS the only company going the EV route?

The EV appeal that led to the USPS decision

A USPS T-3 Motion electric-powered three-wheeler bike being tested by Dana Grasman for range and performance
A USPS T-3 Motion electric three-wheeler | Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

In light of the high gas prices, more people are contemplating making a move to buy an electric vehicle to avoid paying the exorbitant costs at the pump. However, the appeal began before inflation really hit. 

Many automakers, like General Motors, have implemented a goal to make the switch from gasoline-powered to electric by the end of the decade. The reason is to help reduce carbon emissions and make a change with the current climate crisis. 

After criticism of its proposed implementation of a fleet of predominantly gas-guzzling trucks, the USPS decided to try e-bikes with some of its carriers. Right now, it plans to test out e-bikes in a couple of Florida cities with districts that already have bike routes, according to The Drive

How beneficial can the U.S.-built e-bikes be?

The USPS is pretty excited about the new e-bikes because they offer plenty of benefits, the major being its fuel-saving capabilities. The U.S.-built bikes will be made by a Montana-based company on the Freighter AW platform. 

The structure can be modified in many ways, depending on your commercial needs. Its front end is attached to a large cargo box unit that provides approximately 72 cubic feet of space for letters, envelopes, and packages. 

According to Electrek, it’s also designed to carry up to 400 lbs. To stop the bike with potentially that much weight, the e-bike will have hydraulic disc brakes to enable a carrier to come to a complete stop safely. 

Powering it up will be a Bosch Cargo line driving system that can provide the rear wheels with 85 Nm of torque. Paired with the model is a 500 Wh battery, but it can take on multiple ones if needed. It also will come with rearview mirrors and a backup camera. 

Are there other companies like the USPS making a switch to EVs?

Amazon, a giant in the business world, ordered its first 10,000 delivery vehicles last year, and the company hopes to switch to electric cars in the next few years. The total number of trucks Amazon plans to buy is around 100,000 from Rivian, a newcomer to the electric truck market. 

According to NPR, UPS has also gotten in on the commercial trend and made its order for 10,000 cargo vans to transport its deliveries. One of its competitors, FedEx, can’t be outmatched, and it’s been reported that the company will replace all its vehicles with electric ones by 2040.

General Motors, trying to get ahead of Tesla, set out rather quickly to build a bunch of commercial delivery vans to meet the needs of shippers all across America. Some of those businesses could be using an electric version of the Chevy Express or the GMC Savana. 

The USPS has kickstarted its plan to help prevent any more damage to the environment by implementing its new e-bike mail delivery system. While the change will be slow, it will transfer away from gas-powered vehicles in the near future and become an electric-only business with its delivery trucks. 

Editor’s Note: Initially, the article stated that after some criticism related to the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle, USPS ordered e-bikes instead. The article has been updated to show the e-bikes are being tested, not replacing the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle.

RELATED: What Are the Different Classes of Electric Bikes?