USPS buys 9250 electric Fords, F1’s Aston Martin medical car, 140,000 Durangos recalled
U.S. Postal Service buys 9250 electric Ford vans, 9250 ICE vehicles
Intake: After a “competitive search,” the Postal Service awarded a contract to purchase a total of 9250 Ford E-Transit Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)” the USPS says. Delivery will begin in December for the Kansas City–built vans. The Ford E-Transit BEVs are manufactured in Kansas City, Missouri.
Exhaust: Read the USPS press release closer, though, and you learn that “a contract for 9250 commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) internal combustion engine vehicles will also be concurrently awarded to fill the urgent need for vehicles,” so the USPS isn’t quite ready to go all-electric yet. Still, the USPS is heading that way, announcing also that it’s buying more than 14,000 charging stations “to establish an initial and ongoing Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment inventory.” —Steven Cole Smith
“Eroded car” exhibit opens at Petersen Automotive Museum
Intake: The automotive art of Daniel Arsham is being celebrated at the Petersen Automotive Museum in a new exhibit in the L.A. landmark’s ground floor Armand Hammer Foundation Gallery, which previously heralded Andy Warhol. Arsham’s unique work includes full-scale versions of a Porsche, a tribute to an iconic Ford Mustang, and a famous movie Ferrari, each of which has been transformed with an eroded look that reveals faceted quartz and iron pyrite. Automotive magazine covers, a vintage gasoline pump, and small-scale cars have also received the treatment.
Exhaust: The juxtaposition of familiar automotive shapes and the eroded, geological nature of Arsham’s work makes for a surreal experience. It’s absolutely not what you expect to see when you’re faced with the unmistakable silhouette of a Mustang fastback or classic Porsche. Once again, the Petersen Museum continues to give patrons reasons to return, as the main gallery on the museum’s ground floor has also been recently revamped with a Tesla exhibit. If you’d like to visit, tickets are available at the Petersen Museum website. —Brandan Gillogly
VinFast makes first U.S. deliveries
Intake: VinFast, the Vietnamese maker of electric SUVs, delivered the first 45 VF8 City Edition all-electric SUVs to customers at its nine stores across California on Wednesday, which signals the company’s official entry into the North American market. The City Edition vehicles will continue be delivered to customers at VinFast’s stores or through a home-delivery service in the following days. The VF 8 City Edition includes 999 vehicles which were imported to the U.S. last December.
Exhaust: It isn’t much, but it’s a foot in the door for the very ambitious company, which is contemplating building a factory in North Carolina and launching an IPO in the United States. Vinfast is offering a 10-year warranty on both the vehicles and batteries, mobile service, and 24/7 roadside assistance. —SCS
Formula 1 gets Aston Martin upgrade
Intake: It might always be the last car on the starting grid, but the new Formula 1 medical car has more pace than ever. For the 2023 F1 season the Aston Martin DBX707 will take its position on track behind the 20 of the finest drivers in motorsports, ready to provide emergency medical assistance. The 707 PS (697 hp) SUV can accelerate to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds and is kitted out with fire extinguishers, medical bags, a defibrillator, and monitors that display driver biometrics. It will be driven by Alan van der Merwe, who says: “The updated FIA Medical Car is an impressive step forward and ensures that we will keep pace in the high-speed world of Formula 1. It’s definitely going to allow the Medical Car team to fully focus on the job and respond quickly and safely during any on-track deployments. It’s great to be heading into a new season well prepared and well equipped.”
Exhaust: As well as bringing up the rear, an Aston Martin is also guaranteed to lead the field during 2023 as its Vantage FIA Safety Car returns to duty. There’s even a chance that the British firm’s F1 car could be near the front, as it was one of the stars of pre-season testing. Tune in to the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday (10 a.m. ET on ESPN) to watch all the Aston action. —Nik Berg
Tesla presentation a “huge tease,” investor says
Intake: The much-anticipated Tesla Investor Day, after rumors had suggested Elon Musk would show off a new $25,000 model or the final Cybertruck design or something specific detailing future products, turned out to be a “huge tease,” tweeted investor Ross Gerber, says Reuters. Musk showed a couple of future models that were shrouded, and he gave no indication of price. The headline for most financial outlets was that Musk said Tesla could cut manufacturing costs in half, potentially resulting in a much cheaper car. “It’s coming. They laid it all out. 50 percent less cost to build. Would get you a $25–$30K EV!” tweeted Gerber. Musk did confirm that the next Gigafactory will be built in Mexico, near Monterrey.
Exhaust: Musk has long played his cards close to his vest, and clearly he wasn’t ready to make a major product announcement. As it is, Reuters observes, “The automaker has only four models, all priced toward the higher end of the market.” The Cybertruck pickup is still coming this year, executives say. —SCS
Dodge recalls nearly 140,000 Durangos for spoiler issue
Intake: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is recalling 139,019 Dodge Durangos from 2021–23 model years for a potentially defective rear spoiler that could detach from the vehicle. NHTSA said that the affected Durangos have the spoiler mounted too close to the tailgate, which means that when the tailgate is being opened, it can come into contact with the spoiler, “which may result in the spoiler becoming partially detached from the vehicle,” or even detaching completely, which could cause following vehicles “to crash without prior warning.”
Exhaust: There may be early signs there’s a problem, NHTSA says: “Vehicle occupants may hear the spoiler hitting the body when opening or closing the liftgate, or a rattle from the spoiler being loose while driving.” It’s a voluntary safety recall, and if your Durango has the problem, Dodge will replace the spoiler. —SCS
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The USPS run by a know nothing let a no bid contract to Oshkosh Defense, a military transport contractor who knows nothing about commercial vehicles. They came up with a design sure to kill the driver if the vehicle is hit in the front end. It was a big order, several thousand vehicles. Now I read that DeJoy, who runs the Post Office is buying from Ford, who knows how to manufacture cars. DeJoy is also a hangover from the Trump Administration, and was a donor. As well as Oshkosh Defense. It’s time we keep politics out of public services.
At least the Ford vans look like normal vehicles versus that other cartoon duck billed thing they are getting.
The USPS purchase of 9250 E-vehicles AND 9250 normal ICE vechiles (nearly identical otherwise?).. makes me believe this is a tremendous opportunity for the USPS or a commercial company to collect maintenance and reliability data of these vehicles and do a 1:1 comparison over the first few years to determine a ‘comparative costs’ between the two types. The government should have done something like this BEFORE declaring that after a certain year no ICE vehicles would be sold…
You’re right that this sort of study should have begun a few years ago, but at least it can start soon. Is the prior deal still on? Who knows? Joe Biden knows. I’m very relieved to see DeJoy back down on this – the pressure from the White House must have been enormous. Short haul delivery seems to be a perfect place for electric vehicles.
This is a great opportunity to do a comprehensive evaluation of electric vs ICE vehicles. Cost, reliability, longevity, safety, etc. In all fairness there needs to be one offset to operating cost. The ICE vehicles should have all federal and local gasoline tax backed out of the cost equation. Also, keep in mind that non long-haul USPS applications is probably the best-case scenario for an EV. Stop and go, short trips, scheduled down time, central location for charging stations.
No solar cell roof panels… fail… you probably have 3 sheets of plywood worth of area to use up there.
Shouldn’t the new Aston Martin F1 medical car be red or yellow? Just an idea.
Imagine that, buying a perfectly reasonable delivery vehicle from a company that knows how to build something other than 3 ton combat trucks! No cost figures were offered, but I’m guessing that these Ford units cost about half of the Wacky Racers that Oshkosh offered, and will probably be twice as reliable over time. So sad that government agencies are not run like real businesses.
I read an article where DeJoy had ordered all Oshkosh gas engine vehicles and Biden Admin raised hell because Biden pushing conversion to EV. They evidently had to cancel the Oshkosh order (rightfully so). Imagine DeJoy was getting some sort of kickback for the Oshkosh order. Don’t know why they don’t shit can DeJoy? The USPS has totally went to crap since he took over all while raising postal mailing cost 2-3 times a year. We run a website and count on mailing orders. Prior to DeJoy we would experience 1-2 problems a year with missing orders, Since DeJoy is like 2-3 orders every month show up missing. Had one package going to Canada and they found it in Germany 2 1/2 weeks later. Another was going to Germany and it popped up in Santo Domingo, Chile 2 months later? Go figure?
So let me get this straight. We have a country, Vietnam, that killed 50,000 of our brave men and women, slaughtered millions of their own citizens, a country supported by China, into our country to sell electric vehicles that will benefit Vietnam and American citizens are ACTUALLY going to consider buying them???? Are you folks insane?!?!?