• Is This the Electric Mail Delivery Truck of the Future? It Wears USPS Livery (Spied)


    [Image credit: anonymous]
    The Workhorse Group, makers of the Workhorse W-15 Electric pickup, confirmed via tweet that their prototype mail truck had been spotted testing in Virginia. Furthermore, the group has recently released some images of their van in a tweet.

    However, the United States Parcel Service (USPS) model looks a bit different. What do we know about this prototype van for the USPS? We know it is configured carry about 1,500 lbs and has 155 cu-ft of storage space. The body difference would be explained by the fact that this is a collaborative effort between Hackney and Workhorse, with Hackney making the body of the truck. The USPS delivery truck may feature a BMW gasoline motor to function as a generator and range extender (similar to the Workhorse W-15 pickup).

    The USPS is considering a number of manufacturers for this bid. Whoever gets the bid will potentially have an order for 180,000 units. The electrification aspect of this truck is thanks to a recent push from the USPS to drive more eco-friendly vehicles.

    Interestingly, this prototype has a Tesla-like or Volvo-like infotainment screen. What sort of connectivity and networking ability could this mail truck have?

    Stay tuned for more info on this potential electric mail delivery truck.

    Here is an all-electric sport utility truck from Bollinger.


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    25 thoughts on “Is This the Electric Mail Delivery Truck of the Future? It Wears USPS Livery (Spied)

    1. This is pretty neat. As long as they can have enough battery to go 8-12 hrs of city driving it would save the USPS a ton of money in fuel cost. The unknown is the electrical cost in charging though. However I am not up to date on all battery tech but I have to wonder if they can have enough battery to do a full days work and not need a IC generator.

      1. An onboard generator is a range extender, but not limitless range like a pure ICE engine. Once the battery dies you only have a fraction of the horsepower the generator produces to actually use in motion

        1. I would suspect the generator would likely kick in at a predetermined discharged level to prevent a limp home mode. And if they can govern acceleration rate based on GPS and route plans, that could also help extend range.

      2. No, no, no. TFL is getting lose with its facts. Have you noticed that lately? I think they are trying to do too much. It is the first and foremost job of journalists to report facts, not web “info”.

        Workhorse has already announced a long time ago that the are NOT using th BMW 3 cylinder range extender motor. They are going to put in a larger engine that is closer or exactly the same as a regular truck as an extender so that there will no power loss when the batteries are discharged.

        TFL, you need to keep up on your facts and post a correction!

      3. Electric vehicles (EV) can travel at least 100 miles between charges. My postman said that he drives 32 miles per day of constant stop and go from mailbox to mailbox (Cough cough choke).So, this should not be an issue for mail delivery trucks,and having range extenders would only make them more complex and subject to more maintenance. And, from what I’ve heard and read, EV’s vs. ICE require very little maintenance. Look it up. I am very optimistic about the future of EV’s. ICE mechanics will need to re-tool for the future.

    2. THIS is the application for an electric vehicle. A fixed known range, a “home base” for charging, start and stop driving with no significant highway time.

      1. Something on the order of 95% (unsure of the exact figure) of USPS routes are under 50 miles. Aside from the air conditioning specification (from USPS) that wouldn’t even take a large battery. If the system id sufficiently robust, they wouldn’t need a range extender. OTOH, a distributed inventory of self portable generators under federal jurisdiction could be good for FEMA and other emergency management entities.

      2. Exactly. This makes sense. If configured correctly there would be no need for a range extender in most applications. It would be a good option to have however. If configured as suggested by Jimmy Johns (kicking in before the battery is below a usable level) it would not need to be much of a generator. At the speeds and loads these perform at they don’t need much power. With all the stop and go a small generator would have the time it needs to built up charge in the batteries.

        1. Doubt even then it would need it. The nissan leaf does 107 miles on a 30kw battery, and has a sloar panel to run the AC without draining the main battery.

          That should be trivial to fit into a postal truck.

    3. This won’t be delivering any of my mail. You need a PO Box to get good mail service in my area. Mail gets delivered in a big box truck to the Post Office. Then it gets delivered to me when I drive a pickup truck to the Post Office.

    4. wonder if the heating element would keep my mail lady warm enough. definitely need hydronic heating from ICE for her.

      1. Seems like HVAC could be a bit of a problem with the battery powered vehicles. The batteries and motor do produce a bit of waste heat-likely enough to keep the cab warm.

        1. There needs to be a HVAC system just for the batteries. Current hybrids that I am familiar with have the ability to maintain battery temps in optimal ranges. To cold lithium batteries do t work well and neither if they get really hot. So I suspect it would be a combined system for batteries and driver.

        2. Leaf can run it’s AC minimally from its tiny solar panel. A large, flat roof like the mail truck with a solar panel could supply a decent amount of power towards a HVAC system.

    5. As a long time carrier I can tell you with certainty this will be too expensive.
      USPS will always buy low bidder equipment or whoever give the bigwigs the biggest kickbacks.
      No matter what it will suck because it will be designed by people who never actually drive them just lie our current fleet. Honestly electric would work for the majority of our routes and if I didn’t have to waste time filling up twice a week that would be a bonus.
      I’ve only got four years to go until I can retire so I doubt I’ll ever see one.

    6. Stamps will go up again for this nonsense.

      There has been talk eliminating a lot of little local post office that government think this where waste is and it is NOT. There is lot of postal workers can do whatever they want and can not be fired because of the Union. Another reason is the government pensions.

      I just look at this is another government boondoggle.

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