In July, the U.S. Postal Service announced its plan to buy 1,900 fuel-efficient vehicles, including 900 hybrids and 1,000 alternative fuel vehicles. Impressive enough, but now USPS is investing its resources in building an all-electric delivery truck that could save the government millions in fuel costs.
USPS is working with automotive conversion center AutoPort and EV developer AC Propulsion on what will essentially be a regular mail delivery vehicle outfitted with an AC Propulsion AC-150 drive system. It includes a 12-volt power supply with vehicle-to-grid technology along with an AC induction motor, charter, and inverter–which all ads up to an impressive 268 horsepower and a range of up to 300 miles at 60 mph, more than enough mileage for a city-based postal truck to finish its route before driving back to headquarters to power up.
Once AutoPort has confirmed that the electric postal truck meets electric vehicle safety guidelines, the vehicle will spend a year on the streets of Washington, D.C., for testing. If operation and maintenance costs are low enough, USPS will consider expanding the EV fleet to some of its 142,000 vehicles. And if that happens, it will be a huge boon to the still-unsteady EV industry.