Workhorse Group files complaint after losing contract with giant postal truck

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Workhorse Group has filed a formal complaint with the US Postal Service over the loss of a contract to supply electric mail delivery trucks to the federal agency.

According to the Washington Post, Workhorse told the Postal Service, the Justice Department and successful bidder Oshkosh Defense that he is protesting the decision. Workhorse’s lawsuit asks a U.S. Federal Claims Court judge to issue a preliminary injunction against the Postal Service and to suspend the contract while the case is decided, the Post said.

The company has been exploring ways to challenge the loss of the contract to build the next-generation mail truck since it lost the tender to Oshkosh Defense in February.

The two companies were competing for a deal that could be worth more than $ 6 billion in new vehicles as part of the Postal Service’s efforts to modernize its aging fleet of postal trucks.

The post office now uses around 140,000 Grumman long-life vehicles for its main delivery service. Manufactured from 1987 to 1994, they must be replaced. A 2014 audit by the USPS Office of the Inspector found that the current fleet could only meet the agency’s delivery needs in fiscal year 2017.

Workhorse’s proposal would have provided a fleet of electric vehicles. Although the Postal Service has considered using electric vehicles for its new fleet, only 10% of vehicles in Oshkosh’s contract will be electric, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said in a congressional hearing earlier this year. . This percentage would allow the agency to test the technology and limit the cost of installing chargers in postal facilities.

After losing the contract, Workhorse requested additional information about the Postal Service’s decision. Its executives met with agency officials in March “to discuss the award and other details of the USPS selection process, details of which cannot be released at this time,” Workhorse said in a press release on Wednesday.

“The company is currently unable to provide further information on this matter, but will provide updates as appropriate and to the extent permitted by its nondisclosure agreement under the USPS NGDV program,” the company said.

Under the terms of the deal, Oshkosh, based in Oshkosh, Wisc., Will be awarded a $ 482 million contract to complete the production design of its mail truck offering. The deal also provides funds for Oshkosh to pay for necessary tooling and factory setup before production begins.

It will be a right-hand drive vehicle specially designed for mail and parcel delivery. The design will allow the vehicle to be equipped with either an internal combustion engine or a battery-powered electric powertrain. The Postal Service asked Oshkosh to ensure that the electric truck can be modernized to keep pace with technological advancements in electric vehicles.

Oshkosh will assemble 50,000 to 165,000 postal trucks over 10 years.

The agency spent more than $ 700 million in 2019 to maintain its current fleet of postal trucks. The average expense was around $ 5,000, but at least 10,000 trucks required, on average, more than $ 12,000 to work.

The Postal Service began planning to replace the fleet with a new, specially designed vehicle more than five years ago. The post office expected to put the first trucks into service in the federal government’s fiscal year 2018. Yet numerous delays, including the latest caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, have hampered the program.

The new vehicles will be a significant improvement over the old trucks now used by letter carriers.

The Postal Service said the new design vehicles would include air conditioning, heating and improved ergonomics. They also benefit from technology now ubiquitous in passenger vehicles, including 360-degree cameras, advanced brake and traction control, airbags, a front and rear collision avoidance system that includes alerts and braking. automatic emergency.

The new postal trucks will have a larger load capacity designed to handle the boom in e-commerce.

Trucks.com March 8, 2021

The sooner Congress – with its wallet – reports that the future new mail delivery truck, or NGDV, is electric, the better.


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