Most of the Postal Service’s 142,000 Long Life Vehicles (LLV) have been in service 20-24 years.
But replacing the fleet is a significant investment. Until the Postal Service decides what kind of vehicles will best serve its growing base of customers — at the lowest cost — USPS is taking a series of steps to extend the lives of its LLVs.
To implement this plan, USPS in February awarded contracts to five companies to develop a battery for an electric-powered light delivery vehicle. These vendors will use LLVs as the base vehicle and convert them to electric power. Prototype vehicles from all five companies are scheduled to arrive in August. The Postal Service will spend the next year testing them in and around the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.
“It’s critical that we invest in vehicles to let our employees efficiently perform their work in a safe and secure manner at the lowest total cost of ownership,” said David Williams, vice president, Engineering.
Williams said vehicle technology continues to evolve, including the use of alternative fuels. In addition to battery power, USPS is evaluating a number of other fuels including compressed natural gas, propane, E-85, diesel and hydrogen fuel cell.
“Any fuel used must have an adequate supply and a fueling infrastructure that will last for the expected life of the vehicle,” said Williams. “There are plenty of options, and finding the best solution will require careful analysis to make sure we select the best alternative for our operations.”
source: USPS News Link