Everyone knows the rumble of the standard-duty white boxy truck tasked with delivering letters and packages to the end of your driveway. Could that sound soon be replaced with an electric buzz?
Grumman developed the Long Life Vehicle (LLV) back in the 1980s and has since put 215,000 of them onto the front lines of mail carrying duty. The iconic mail carrier had a good run, but the fleet has aged significantly, with an estimated 140,000 of the vehicles celebrating their 20th birthdays. The solution? The United States Postal Service is holding a competition—34.7 million dollars in contracts were awarded to Mahindra, Oshkosh, Utilimaster, AM General, Karsan, and VT Hackney to create 50 prototype mail haulers, featuring the latest and greatest in hybrid and alternative fuel technologies.
One of the finalists was spotted on the streets of Leesburg, Virginia, moving about residential streets on battery power. The mail mule is a collaboration between the truck body manufacturer VT Hackney Inc and the electric truck company Workhorse Group Inc. The team has confirmed that the truck is battery powered and supplemented by a BMW gasoline engine to give the truck extra range.
The new truck grabs your attention as well as packages from your mailbox. Though it has a low-slung aerodynamic hood and sweeping windshield, it still does not compromise on cargo space, with 155 cubic feet of upright storage and the ability to haul 1,500 pounds of postcards and bills.
All prototypes have been delivered to the USPS so we can expect to see more of these cargo couriers on the road testing in the coming months. Source: Trucks.com