Cleveland, Ohio – The United States Postal Service (USPS) has invited 15 companies to submit bids for an updated delivery truck due to go into service in 2018. The eclectic mix of companies includes giant automotive companies such as Ford, upfitters that make delivery vans for FedEx and UPS, military vehicle producers, commercial truck companies, and a handful of alternative fuel and electric vehicle producers.
The 15 companies have all been pre-qualified by the USPS to submit bids when the agency completes its request-for-proposal spec sheets. General specs used to pre-qualify companies call for a front- or all-wheel-drive van that can carry 1,500 lb (100 lb more than current models) of postal carriers and mail.
Other requirements include the ability to produce 180,000 vehicles throughout a roughly 6-year timeframe, compliance with federal and state emissions standards, and a 20-year usable lifespan. The postal service has set a $25,000 to $30,000 price range for the future vehicles.
Companies asked to submit requests are:
- AM General – Producer of the military HMMWV (Humvee) military vehicle.
- AMP Holdings – Producer of electric powertrains for commercial trucks and vans, owner of the Workhorse Chassis brand of commercial vehicle chassis
- Emerald Automotive – Owned by China’s automotive giant Geely, makes electric commercial vans, has plans for a St. Louis, Missouri-area plant
- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US – Ram commercial vehicle line includes high-roof vans, such as the Sprinter models that the postal service uses in small numbers
- Ford Motor Co. – Ford Transit high-roof vans also similar to Sprinter models
- Freightliner Custom Chassis – Produces step vans, buses, other commercial vehicles
- Karsan Co. – A Turkish company that primarily makes buses, has bid on taxicab work in London and New York
- Mahindra North America – U.S. subsidiary of giant Indian industrial producer of sport utility vehicles, vans, tractors, and other equipment
- Morgan Olson – Upfitter company that converts chassis from automakers and truck companies into vocational vehicles such as delivery step vans
- Nissan North America – NV200 van line has gone after New York taxi service, used by several delivery companies
- OEM Systems – Upfitter company that makes commercial truck bodies, converts gasoline and diesel trucks to run on compressed natural gas (CNG)
- Oshkosh Corp. – Makes several military trucks, firetrucks
- Utilimaster Corp. – Truck and van upfitter, makes delivery vehicles for FedEx, UPS
- VT Hackney – Upfitter, commercial van, refrigerated truck producer
- ZAP Jonway – Electric vehicle specialists with operations in China, also makes small gasoline-powered cars
The postal service has asked for proposals by June. In late July, it will select a smaller group from the 15 approved to submit proposals to build prototypes. Those prototypes should be finished by February, 2016, allowing the postal service to test the vehicles through September of next year.
The post office then plans to request a final proposal from remaining companies that includes prices and delivery schedules. It will chose the producer in January, 2017. The agency hopes to get its first new trucks by January, 2018.
Source: United States Postal Service