The United States Postal Service made news last week by unveiling a rendering of its next purpose-built mail delivery vehicle, one that will replace a model whose design is nearly 35 years old. The Oshkosh Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV) will begin to replace the boxy and rumbling Grumman LLV starting in 2023, featuring a whole host of modern safety features that the Grumman never received, as well as greater comfort and convenience for the driver. 35 years of progress in automotive tech should be an eye-opening experience for mail carriers, most of whom had joined the USPS well after the Grumman arrived, and perhaps might not have even been in one of the old DJ-5 Jeeps that it replaced.
The USPS also made news by not going electric, at least not right away, preferring to equip the NGDV with small and efficient gasoline engines. It did confirm the NGDV’s design will allow for EV drivetrains to be retrofitted once they arrive, but just when and how this will happen has yet to be detailed. Seeing as we’re yet two years away from the debut of the NGDV, it may be a while until we actually see an electric one even in prototype form.