First look at next generation mail truck



The United States Postal Service (USPS) is looking for a new delivery truck to replace the familiar Long Life Vehicle it uses today, and potential suppliers have until March 6th to throw their hat in the ring.

While it will likely be a while before any of them go public with their proposals, images from a presentation prepared by the USPS for interested automakers have been revealed by the Postal Reporter blog and offer an idea of what it has in mind.

The design hems to the specifications laid out in the agency’s request, which require a van-type configuration with right hand drive, curbside sliding doors for both driver and cargo access, a minimum interior height of 6 feet 4 inches, and a maximum length of 230 inches, or just over 19 feet.

Although the final design could vary greatly from the example laid out by the USPS, it will feature a body made from either aluminum or composite material, have a payload capacity of at least 1,500 pounds, deliver improved fuel economy and emissions compared to the current truck, which was designed in 1987, and meet the latest safety standards.

Final proposals for the vehicle are due in June, and the USPS plans to start testing prototypes in February 2016. The winner of the contract will be picked the following year and will need to deliver 180,000 over a five to seven year period starting in 2018 at a cost of $25,000-$35,000 per truck.