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Electrify the U.S. Postal fleet!

  • Magazine Article
  • 18AUTP11_01
Published November 01, 2018 by SAE International in United States
  • English

They're hot in the summer and cold in the winter, their drivers complain. Their sub-10-mpg fuel efficiency and emissions profile are stuck in the 1980s. Onboard fires are not uncommon due to poorly routed fluid lines. With rear-drive only, their traction in slippery road conditions is “scary,” according to U.S. Postal Service carriers who brave rain, snow and gloom of night in the Long Life Vehicle-the familiar residential mail truck that is finally nearing replacement.

It's hard to believe that some 140,000 of these rolling boxes, based on 2wd Chevy S-10 chassis and gasoline engines, were assembled by Grumman, maker of sleek F-14 Tomcat jet fighters. But the cheap-and-crude LLV was the USPS's baby. Launched in 1986 for a 24-year lifecycle, it was given a six-year service extension in 2009. Then six years later the USPS kicked off its Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDV) program to finally develop a mail truck for the 21st century.