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USPS picks Oshkosh Defense for future electric mail trucks

The USPS is moving into the future with the Wisconsin-based military vehicle-maker, and its decision closes a six-year selection process.

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USPS Headquarters

New mail trucks are coming in two years.

USPS, Oshkosh Defense

The United States Postal Service has made a selection for its future mail trucks -- and they're going electric. On Tuesday, Oshkosh Defense announced the USPS has selected the Wisconsin-based military vehicle manufacturer to build the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle, or NGDV. The USPS awarded the company a 10-year, $482 million contract to make the new mail trucks.

Not only will Oshkosh help the USPS go electric with battery-electric mail carrier trucks, but it also plans to include "fuel-efficient low-emission internal combustion engine vehicles" as part of the contract. It's unclear what purpose these will serve, however, especially noting President Joe Biden's pledge to move the federal fleet to 100% electric vehicles. Oshkosh did not immediately return a request for comment.

The selection process has remained highly secretive with a handful of competitors, including Lordstown Motors (previously Workhorse) and a Turkish company by the name of Karsan making proposals. The Biden administration's recent Buy American order beefed up provisions to purchase more US-made goods, so it seemed Karsan was out of the running. Oshkosh's original proposal did not include an electric mail carrier, which seemed to put Lordstown in a good spot. However, Oshkosh clearly met the USPS' needs best.

We'll have much to learn about the future mail carriers, but this is a big day for USPS. The agency's current fleet of Grumman Long Life Vehicles are well past their expiration date. Production of the new mail trucks is scheduled to start in 2023 as Oshkosh begins the decade-long contract to build between 50,000 and 165,000 vehicles.

Updated 3:35 pm: Removed statement speculating the NGDV will be based on Ford's Transit platform.