The electric vehicle startup Canoo announced today that it has signed a purchase agreement with the United States Postal Service to supply USPS with six LDV 190 EVs by the end of March. The futuristic-looking electric vans will be provided in a right-hand drive configuration for ease of deliveries.
“The multi-purpose platform with steer-by-wire technology, and a unique low-profile suspension system allows for a readily configurable right-hand drive system while maintaining desired roll and ride stability,” said Canoo CEO and Executive Chairman Tony Aquila.
The news comes two days after the USPS formally unveiled its first EV charging stations, which have been installed at its South Atlanta Sorting and Delivery Center. It’s the first in what will be hundreds of installations at about 400 sites across the US, which the USPS says it will convert to sorting and delivery centers that will act as local hubs for EVs on local carrier routes. Currently, it has opened 29 so far.
Today is a victory for the US Postal Service, America’s electric vehicle industry, workers, and the environment,” said White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory. USPS is leading by example by building the world’s largest electric delivery vehicle fleet and delivering on President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, resulting in cleaner air, better health, and good-paying jobs in communities across the country.
The Siemens chargers are level 2 AC chargers, which the postal service says will recharge its EVs overnight; they’ll be ready to go out the next day with that morning’s deliveries. In total, the USPS will install around 14,000 EV chargers made by Siemens, but also Blink and Rexel/ChargePoint.
The Canoo LDVs, or “lifestyle delivery vehicles,” won’t be the only commercial off-the-shelf EVs to wear USPS colors. In addition to at least 45,000 fully electric Next Generation Delivery Vehicles by 2028, the postal service plans to buy 21,000 EVs from automakers, including 9,250 Ford e-Transit vans. Additionally, it says it is continuing to explore whether it’s feasible to adopt an entirely electric delivery fleet.
Mail routes are an ideal candidate for electrification, as EVs are far better suited to the frequent stops required for the job. Unlike a diesel- or gasoline-powered van, an EV powertrain consumes no power while stationary, and the vast majority of routes are much shorter than the 187.6-miles traveled by one Oklahoma-based driver. (Through sheer coincidence, Canoo manufactures its EVs in Oklahoma.)
In fact, this will be Canoo’s second US government contract. In April 2022, it won a NASA contract to provide the space agency with new crew transport vehicles for use with the Artemis program. Three examples of the Canoo Crew Transportation Vehicle were delivered to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in July 2023.