The United States Postal Service has selected Oshkosh Defense to build the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV).
Designed to replace the aging Grumman LLV, the NGDV will “drive the most dramatic modernization of the USPS fleet in three decades.”
While the production model is still being finalized, renderings show the NGDV won’t be a looker as it features massive bumpers and a tiny front end. The model also has a large windscreen and a boxy body that maximizes cargo capacity.
While the NGDV retains the LLV’s sliding doors, it will be far more comfortable thanks to air conditioning and improved ergonomics. The vehicle also promises to be safer as it will come equipped with air bags, traction control and a blind spot warning system. The mail truck will also have automatic emergency braking and a 360° camera system.
Under the terms of the contract, Oshkosh Defense will assemble 50,000 to 165,000 NGDVs over the course of ten years. They’ll be equipped with “fuel-efficient internal combustion engines or battery electric powertrains.” The latter can be “retrofitted to keep pace with advances in electric vehicle technologies.”
Oshkosh Defense is getting an initial investment of $482 (£341 / €396) million and those funds will be used to finalize the design of the NGDV, purchase tooling and build-out a manufacturing facility for production. If everything goes according to plan, the first NGDVs could begin delivering mail in 2023.
When the NGDV enters service, it will replace and expand the current delivery fleet which includes a number of vehicles that have been in service for more than 30 years. It can’t come soon enough as the Postal Service has more than 230,000 vehicles and approximately 190,000 of them deliver mail six or seven days a week.
In a statement, embattled Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said “The NGDV program expands our capacity for handling more package volume and supports our carriers with cleaner and more efficient technologies, more amenities, and greater comfort and security as they deliver every day on behalf of the American people.”