USPS Going Electric, Again: EV Canoo and E-Transits Too


American electric vehicle manufacturer Canoo has just announced a trial partnership with the United States Postal Service. In a press release issued this week, the California company with a production facility in Texas said the USPS will purchase six right-hand-drive versions of the company’s battery-electric Lifestyle Delivery Vehicle 190 in Q1 of this year. The LDV 190 is a commercial version of Canoo’s Lifestyle Vehicle, which is propelled by a single electric motor, with power from a 79-kWh battery offering a range of 200 miles.

The news comes on the heels of the USPS’s own statement announcing a $40 billion investment strategy to upgrade the delivery infrastructure of America’s largest and oldest federal fleet. The investment includes nearly $10 billion toward the purchase of 9250 left-hand-drive, battery-electric Ford E-Transit vans, as well as the installation of 14,000 EV charging stations at postal service facilities throughout the country. The federal organization plans for 75 percent of its fleet to be electric by 2027, with all new vehicle purchases after 2026 to be EV-only.

In the meantime, the USPS is rolling out the immediate replacement for its ancient Grumman LLVs, which have been in service since 1994. Their original planned service life was just 24 years. These Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDV) are built by Oshkosh Defense and look weird as heck.

Oshkosh NGDV front 3/4
Oshkosh Defense

“We are moving forward with our plans to simultaneously improve our service, reduce our cost, grow our revenue, and improve the working environment for our employees,” said Louis DeJoy, Postmaster General. “Electrification of our vehicle fleet is now an important component of these initiatives.”

This isn’t the first time the USPS has explored the use of EVs in its fleet. In fact, the first use of the technology in this context, by Buffalo, New York, City Delivery Service superintendent John Lieb, took place July 2, 1899, as a test bed for planned delivery during Buffalo’s 1901 Pan American Exposition. In the ensuing 125 years, the USPS has employed more than a dozen different EVs in limited capacity. Most recently, in 1995, it deployed 36 Grumman-based ELLVs (Electric Long-Life Vehicles) with lead-acid batteries in eight cities.

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” That creed, however unofficial it may be, has now been associated with the United States Postal Service for more than a century. As the new generation of EV delivery vehicles hits the streets, we’ll see if the slogan, too, needs an update. Perhaps something snappy, like… “nor ancient power grids…”



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    Why not? City delivery is perfect for EVs: No city route is over 50 miles in length; no power being used when stopped; with no driveshaft, the floor can be both low and flat. Sounds good to this retired mail carrier.

    Simple, another unproven company Canoo that will take government money flounder and fail to supply or support these vehicles leaving up a waste of tax money.

    Much like the Lordstown deal that they get all the government investment on the. Postal desl and list it. Now nothing.

    The Oshkosh deal is with an established company with a long history of government contracts that have been well filled and supported.

    Building a successful EV is difficult for established companies and offering deals to unproven companies have a long record of failure and lost money.

    These vehicles will be much more than an ICE model do they should increase their odds buy using established mfgs.

    Anymore question?

    Lowest bidder is not really a good way to award contracts. Think about that the next Chuck hole you hit.

    Well,so much for tradition. We just had a 6-7″ snowfall here in middle Tn last week & the PS basically shut down delivery. No mail at my house for 7 days. Most of the USPS vehicles around here are 2 wheel drive vans or the carriers personal vehicle. I just am curious what the purchase price & maintenance costs will be with EVs vs. gas powered. Hertz is dumping a ton of their EVs just because of the extra costs

    In urban/suburban areas with plenty of infrastructure to keep roads plowed, electric vehicles and/or hybrid electrics make plenty of sense. Not so much for rural routes unless they are dual motor, all wheel drive with appropriate tires. My only issue with dealing with a startup is what happens if the vehicles are hit and they need to start actually making the things in large numbers? What’s their supply chain for batteries, motors and other components like?

    It is a good thing humans were able to overcome this “everything new is risky and expensive” mentality, or we would still be using horse and buggy. Every current car company was a risky startup at some point that needed investment and time to develop. In the end, many didn’t make it, but that is part of the process moving from the past to the future.

    That’s the “airline” business model, not the “carmaker” model. When did government force the switch to gasoline? Was it draining the horse troughs during cholera epidemics? Nobody banned oat sales.

    Isn’t this the way…the government wasting our tax dollars… and yet the cost of postage continues to climb..if you just look what happened with ev’s in the last cold spell in the north…but another reason why the mail will not get delivered…neither rain or snow used to stop the mail…but now any excuse will work.

    You did not mention the purchase and deployment of 500 electric USPS electric LLVs in 2000 and 2001. While the LLV was used a modified S-10 chassis the electric LLV used a Ford Ranger chassis. The LLV body was manufactured in Montgomery, PA where the ICE LLVs were built. The electric LLVs were the largest purchase of electric vehicles at the time. The USPS found eletric vehicle batteries to be unreliable and the vehicles were removed from service and destroyed.

    Remember that this is a trial partnership that involves buying 6 vehicles. I don’t think USPS will get burned if these 6 vehicles (or the Canoo) prove to be not up to the job. The bigger part of this announcement is them buying 9,250 Ford Transit electric vans.

    Another big problem is diminished battery capacity and charging in cold weather. The recent big freeze shows how bad things can get. The colder the less miles you get, and add in how much the electric heaters use.

    For a while, these shall suffice. The bet would be a return to part petrol power after these vehicles expire. 2050-2060? I’ll be there for it and further.

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