Ford will be making a special delivery to the U.S. Postal Service.
The automaker has confirmed that it will supply powertrains for the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle being developed by Oshkosh Defense. The vehicle was picked by the agency in February to replace its familiar Grumman LLVs (Long Life Vehicles) that have been making the rounds since 1987.
Oshkosh is moving ahead with the project, which is potentially worth $6.3 billion, despite legal challenges from rival bidder Workhorse Group. The company announced Tuesday that the vehicle will be manufactured at a new Spartanburg, S.C., facility that will employ approximately 1,000 people.
The news of Ford's involvement was not a surprise, as prototypes of the vehicle were based on the Ford Transit commercial van. The production version will use a purpose-built design by Oshkosh Defense, however.
Although it wasn't specifically called for in the original contract, Oshkosh Defense has committed to providing both internal combustion engine-powered and all-electric versions of the vehicle following a new call by President Biden to electrify the entire government fleet.
Specific details on the powertrains have not been released, but Ford is launching an all-electric version of the Transit this year and has a new battery-powered platform in the works that can be used for a variety of vehicle types.
Oshkosh Defense is expecting to start production in the summer of 2023.