The U.S. Postal Service has officially placed its first order for the all-new Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV).
The $2.98 billion purchase calls for 50,000 of the Oshkosh Defense-built trucks, which includes 10,019 battery electric models (BEV), twice as many of the zero emissions vehicles as originally planned.
The independent government agency had come under fire from President Biden and the EPA in February for saying it was only going to order 5,000 electric trucks after Biden pledged to transition the entire government vehicular fleet to zero-emissions vehicles.
Postmaster General and USPS Chief Executive Officer Louis DeJoy previously said the agency was aiming to electrify 10% of its fleet and that it didn't have the internal budget to support the purchase of many more without additional funds provided by the federal government.
"Since I came on board a year and a half ago, we have continuously evaluated and adjusted our vehicle purchase strategy based on our future network initiatives, ongoing review of BEV application to our operational strategy, and our financial outlook as we undertake our ongoing implementation of the Delivering for America plan," DeJoy said about the final order.
The NGDV was engineered to accommodate a variety of powertrains, including all-electric. Several prototypes are already in use by the USPS for testing and DeJoy said the final production trucks would start hitting the road sometime in 2023, but did not give a date for when the 50,000 unit order would be fulfilled.
The USPS is looking to replace the 190,000 Grumman LLVs (Long Life Vehicles) currently in use, which were all built between 1987 and 1994, and the initial contract awarded called for up to 165,000 NGDVs to be delivered over the next decade.