Not long ago, it was announced that Oshkosh Defense won the bid for the US' next-generation postal trucks. It was reported that the trucks will have the potential to be powered by gas or electricity. Now, Oshkosh has announced that the delivery vehicles will be powered by Ford.
Oshkosh won the $6 billion contract back in February 2021. It calls for 50,000 to 165,000 new postal vehicles in the US over the next 10 years.
It may come as no surprise that OshKosh chose Ford to provide powertrains for its traditional, gas-powered mail vehicles. However, Ford will also be working with the company to supply all-electric powertrains. The Oshkosh Defense mail trucks will be built for the US government beginning in 2023, and they'll be manufactured domestically, in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Sadly, the Oshkosh contract only calls for 10% of the new postal fleet to be electrified. This comes as a surprise since the Biden Administration is pushing hard to promote electric vehicles. The president has also said the government will work to transition its fleet to electric cars. If the mail service doesn't act now to transition a larger percentage of its fleet, it will be many years before the opportunity presents itself again.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy points to the greater cost of electrification as the reason there aren't plans in place to transition a larger percentage of the fleet away from fossil fuel power. Member of Congress pushed back, trying to require that 75% of future US mail trucks use electric powertrains, but the effort failed, at least for now.
Oshkosh has been seeking suppliers, but now it has announced that Ford, via Ford Component Sales, will supply "key powertrain" parts for the USPS delivery vehicles, such as engines, suspension parts, electric motors, and battery-related parts. Oshkosh Defense president John Bryant shared in a statement to Green Car Reports:
"One of those suppliers is Ford Component Sales (a wholly owned subsidiary of Ford Motor Company), providing components across both ICE and BEV models including powertrain, drive train, suspension, and cabin interior components. We are finalizing our full supplier network as we mature the production design."