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The Trucks Competing to Be the Next USPS Delivery Vehicle, Third Prototype Spotted

The U.S. Postal Service has launched full-scale testing of a series of prototype delivery vans from which it plans to select its next mail truck.

The order will be huge for the companies involved.

The USPS will choose models from the prototypes to replace up to 180,000 mail trucks over the course of seven years, an estimated $6.3 billion of business. The post office’s current fleet is aging. Of the 215,000 mail trucks in operation, 140,000 are at least two decades old.

“Real-world” testing of the prototypes began last month in Flint, Mich., Leesburg, Va., and Tucson, Ariz., in early October. Other test locations include Tempe, Ariz., Utica, Mich., and Manassas, Va., according to the USPS.

Five contenders are participating in the competition, which the USPS has named the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle, or NGDV, program. They include two team entries: VT Hackney/Workhorse Group and Karsan/REV Group. The three additional companies are AM General, Oshkosh and Mahindra.

The postal service said the winner of the vehicle contract will be announced in early– 2018.

Given the Trump administration’s arguably protectionist rhetoric and preference for U.S. manufacturers, it’s likely the agency might opt for a full American design, said Jeffrey Osborne, a Cowen & Co. automotive analyst.

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