Oshkosh takes victory lap over Postal Service delivery truck contract

Oshkosh Truck Corp. (NYSE: OSK) can make 100% battery-electric delivery trucks for the U.S. Postal Service, undercutting an assertion by Workhorse Group (NASDAQ: WKHS) that being its passed over for the contract dooms the mail service to remaining a source of planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions.

Not so, Oshkosh President and CEO John Pfeifer told analysts on the company’s fiscal second-quarter earnings call Wednesday.

“We can do 100% electric vehicles from Day One,” Pfeiffer said. “If the U.S. Postal Service came to us tomorrow and said, ‘We’ve got the funding to do 100% electric from 2023,’ we can do it.”

The key is the Postal Service having the money for all-electric vehicles (EVs), which cost more to acquire than vehicles with conventional powertrains. EVs make up the cost over time through better fuel economy and less maintenance. And they emit no tailpipe emissions.

The first tranche of funding to Oshkosh — $480 million over 10 years — is expected to result in up to 165,000 new trucks replacing an aging and fire-prone fleet. Oshkosh will deliver the first trucks — powertrain undefined — in the second half of 2023, Pfeifer said.

“Our Defense segment will supply the Postal Service with as many zero-emission battery electric vehicles (BEV) units that they desire as they upgrade their fleet to be increasingly sustainable,” he said.

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