2023, this critter starts delivering to our rural mailbox

The new van, manufactured by Oshkosh Defense, will get a massive overhaul that will provide some significant and desperately needed upgrades for the folks who ensure that “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom” prevent your packages and letters from arriving on time. While the polygonal-like build and massive front windshield of the new truck have some wondering if the USPS stole Homer Simpon’s car idea or perhaps tapped Pixar to do the design, it’s what’s on the inside that is most interesting. Sure, there are high-tech advances like the inclusion of 360-degree cameras and front- and rear-collision avoidance, but postal workers will welcome one feature in particular: climate control.

…Uncle Sam is hoping to squeeze a long life out of these new vehicles, too, equipping them with both gasoline and electric drivetrains to ensure they are prepared to transition to a fossil fuel-free future. It seems likely that the government will lean heavily into the electric option, as the vehicles won’t hit the road until 2023 and President Biden recently expressed his interest in converting the entirety of the government’s fleet of vehicles over to electric. That would have to include the USPS, which makes up about one-third of the government’s fleet.


5 thoughts on “2023, this critter starts delivering to our rural mailbox

  1. Will C. says:

    “Efforts Under Way to Reverse Postal Service Fleet Deal : $6 Billion Contract Comes Under Congressional Scrutiny as Losing Bidder Weighs Legal Options” https://www.dcreport.org/2021/03/25/us-postal-service-efforts-begin-to-reverse-fleet-deal/
    …The lawmakers also complained that awarding the contract to Oshkosh, a longtime builder of military transport vehicles, is “without any commitment to making these vehicles either hybrid or 100% electric.” They noted that Biden promised to fulfill his desire to make the entire fleet of 650,000 federal vehicles battery-powered.
    Oshkosh Defense landed in court twice in the past six years over contracts it won from the U.S. Army totaling more than $12 billion.
    The bid award last month set off a firestorm after Postmaster General DeJoy revealed that he foresees only 10% of the up to 165,000 vehicle fleet being electric, with 90% gasoline-powered trucks. That only came out because he was questioned at a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing after the announcement of the contract with Oshkosh.
    The contract is still in the design phase and only $482 million has been awarded so far, money the financially troubled defense contractor needed to assuage investor concerns. That money is to be used to complete the design and build a factory to make the mail trucks.

    Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) – co-chair of the House Auto Caucus and chairwoman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development – has introduced a House resolution to halt the contract. https://kaptur.house.gov/sites/kaptur.house.gov/files/documents/KAPTUR%20USPS%20Fleet.pdf

  2. 3Card Monte says:

    Republicans Resist Efforts to Upgrade the Postal Service : Current Plans Call for a New Fleet of Gas-Powered Vehicles—But Why Not All-Electric? https://www.dcreport.org/2021/05/28/republicans-resist-efforts-to-upgrade-the-postal-service/
    When Trump-backed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy unveiled his plans in late February to purchase a fleet of mail delivery vans, Congress questioned why he disregarded the Biden administration’s directive to move to electric vehicles. Lawmakers have called for an SEC investigation into a $54 million stock purchase made a day before DeJoy announced that he had awarded Oshkosh Corp. the contract worth up to $6 billion.
    Questioned during a March congressional hearing, DeJoy let slip that at least 90% of trucks would be gasoline-powered. However, it’s doubtful that any of the vehicles would be electric. DeJoy’s pick, the combat vehicle maker Oshkosh Defense, in its 2020 annual report, stated that it was not even capable of producing electric vehicles.
    “We may not have the expertise or resources to successfully address these pressures” to build EVs “on a cost-effective basis or at all,” the company disclosed.

    p/s: “While Republicans claim fiscal irresponsibility when faced with spending $8 billion to build electric vehicles, they fail to mention that the Postal Reform Act makes two key changes projected to save an estimated $46 billion over the next 10 years.”

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