SANTA ROSA, Calif., Feb. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — The United States Postal Service (USPS) has awarded electric car pioneer ZAP (OTC Bulletin Board: ZAAP) an engineering contract for the design and development of an electric version of its Long Life Vehicle (LLV).
ZAP will convert the gasoline mail truck to run on electricity as specified by the USPS at facilities in Santa Rosa, California. Following completion the converted vehicle will undergo field trials in the Washington, DC metropolitan area later this year. ZAP was selected along with four other firms in a competitive bid process held nationwide by the USPS.
Yesterday, US Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, D-California, toured ZAP’s facility, commenting on job creation by ZAP and the Postal Service: “I so appreciate ZAP for hanging in there all these years, knowing what we should be doing as a country. I think a majority of members of Congress, the House in particular, know that they were right and that this is where we need to be investing.” A video and slideshow of the tour are available at http://zapglobal.wordpress.com.
The USPS operates a fleet of approximately 142,000 LLVs as part of the largest civilian fleet in the world, according to USPS sources, with 218,684 vehicles traveling more than 1.25 billion miles each year. The USPS fleet consumed 444 million gallons of fuel in 2009, costing roughly $1.1 billion. Agency vehicles average 10.4 miles per gallon since most drive slowly and make frequent stops with the engine idling between mailboxes.
Rep. Jose E. Serrano (D-New York) has introduced legislation calling for at least 20,000 electric vehicles to be put into service with the USPS to reduce fuel consumption. Rep. Serrano also called for the allocation of $1.86 billion to the Energy Department and Postal Service to convert current mail trucks or manufacture new ones. H.R. 4399 entitled the American Electric Vehicle Manufacturing Act has been referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
ZAP believes the use of electric mail trucks in the postal fleet could be a multi-billion dollar market opportunity for manufacturers of electric vehicles and have a positive impact on the environment by increasing efficiency while reducing air pollution and gasoline consumption.
ZAP is one of the world’s oldest consumer electric vehicle providers, having delivered over 117,000 of a broad range of electric vehicles to more than 75 countries since 1994. ZAP supplies electric trucks and vans to military and government fleets and is an innovator of electric motorcycles, scooters and ATVs. ZAP supplies some of the only electric city-speed cars and trucks in production today and is leveraging its accrued technology know-how in developing a cost effective high-speed electric car called the ZAP Alias. More information is available at http://www.zapworld.com.