Postal Service Testing Karsan Plug-in Hybrid Mail Truck

The U.S. Postal Service is testing a prototype of a plug-in hybrid mail truck from Karsan Otomotive, a Turkish truck maker.

The truck, one of a series of prototypes from five different manufacturers competing to build the next mail truck, is undergoing tests on pavement and rural dirt roads in the Midwest.

 Photos taken by last week show that the prototype that Karsan is building with team member Morgan Olson is a plug-in hybrid. There are ports on two sides of the truck. One on the right side of the vehicle over the front wheel looks to be for electricity. There’s a conventional gasoline port above the left rear wheel.

Karsan will provide the hybrid technology. Morgan Olson, a Sturgis, Mich.-based manufacturer of walk-in vans that has a longstanding relationship with USPS, will manufacture the body. Karsan has designed and built more than 277,000 gas and electric cars as well as specialty automobiles in Europe.

The USPS has said that half the prototypes “will feature hybrid and new technologies, including alternative fuel capabilities.” 

It might be the oddest-looking of the five prototypes competing for the lucrative USPS truck order. Its low-slung boxy hood projects forward under the windshield. Bulky sideview mirrors — resembling monkey arms — are suspend from both sides of the upper cab.

There’s a sliding cargo door on the right side of the truck.

The vehicle carries the USPS eagle logo painted on each side and has the Karsan nameplate on top of the grille between the headlights.

The truck appears to have a high-mounted back-up camera or cargo deck monitor. It was spotted undergoing road tests in frigid winter conditions.


Get the news sent straight to your inbox. Please remember, this list sends an email every weekday, so if you are not a news junkie, then this might not be the list for you. Thanks

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Join the Conversation

26 Comment threads
12 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
36 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Christopher Paradise

And just like the scanners, the battery will be dead about halfway through.

Tish Wells

It’s a hybrid. Means it has a gas tank.

Scott Jarvis

Tish Wells Yea . We have a Ford Fusion at the office … damn that thing can go forever. Like 43 mpg

David Andrew

Looks like it’d be real fun maneuvering cul-de-sacs, vehicles, and trash cans! ?

Mark Taylor

I’d get a mail hawk, or one of those “I’m too old to bend over” grabbers.

Joann Philo Handley

I use a mail hawk

Terry O'Meara

U G L Y you ain’t got no alibi you ugly you ugly hey hey you ugly

Patrick Allen

I didn’t think they could design something uglier than an LLV, but apparently it was a “hold my beer” type situation.

Molly Hatchet-Kuipers

When you need to deliver both a SWAT team AND Amazon packages . . .

Michelle Stevens

It looks like a prison transport bus that they slapped some USPS logos on and said here you go.

Amanda Benton

It’s gotta be better than what we are using

Kerrisa Matthews

Lisa J. Matthews shoot yea here’s what I need

Lisa J. Matthews

Good bye!

Jill Lindgren


Lance Hodges

No vehicle is going to be perfect, if they wanted a vehicle to be perfect for carriers they get carriers input . What works for my route might not work for yours and vice versa, but anything is better then a 30 year old car b q waiting to happen

Send this to a friend