The Postal Service’s Next Generation Delivery Vehicle acquisition process has entered its next phase.
The process began in January 2015 when USPS held a kickoff meeting open to all interested technology and automotive suppliers. The open process was designed to attract the most innovative solutions.
Following a review of the responses, 15 suppliers were determined to be prequalified to submit proposals to develop next-generation prototypes.
A request for proposals (RFP) was issued last fall that required suppliers to consider efficiency, ergonomics, safety and sustainability in the design of their proposed vehicles.
After a competition, USPS awarded contracts to six prime suppliers Sept. 16. These companies will produce 50 prototype vehicles.
The prototypes will represent a variety of vehicle sizes and drive configurations, in addition to advanced powertrains and a range of hybrid technologies.
Half of the prototypes will feature hybrid and new technologies, including alternative fuel capabilities.
The suppliers will have approximately one year to develop and produce their prototypes.
USPS then plans to test the prototype vehicles during a six-month period in a range of different delivery environments.
The Postal Service has also announced a forthcoming RFP for commercial off-the-shelf, right-hand drive delivery vehicles.
USPS is seeking to explore a variety of available options during this research phase, and will evaluate any commercial off-the-shelf vehicles proposed as a result of this RFP as the organization continues to assess the delivery fleet mix.
The Postal Service has posted a statement in its online newsroom with additional information.