The U.S. Postal Service will purchase six electric vans from startup Canoo, to be delivered later this quarter.
The vans will be right-hand-drive versions of the Canoo LDV 190 van, according to a press release from the startup. Canoo's website lists the LDV 190 has having a 79-kwh battery pack yielding an estimated 200 miles of range. The van has 200 hp, a 1,624-pound payload capacity, and 172 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear bulkhead in its stock configuration, the website says.
USPS Ford E-Transit
Earlier this past week the Postal Service also gave an update on a $40 billion plan to electrify its fleet, including rolling out charging infrastructure for more than 66,000 electric delivery vehicles. That total will include 21,000 "commercial off-the-shelf" vehicles from manufacturers like Canoo, plus at least 45,000 purpose-built delivery vehicles, the latter due by 2028.
The "off-the-shelf" purchases will include up to 9,250 Ford E-Transit vans. The Postal Service announced that deal in Mar. 2023 as a hedge against the custom-designed vans—officially called Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDV) and intended to get both electric and internal-combustion powertrains—because they are still years away.
Canoo LDV 130 van in Kingbee livery
The NGDV project was the center of a scandal in which, despite a push from the Biden administration to go electric when possible, the USPS only ordered 10% electric mail trucks—and the electric version hadn't yet been engineered. In a revised strategy, the Postal Service agreed to only buy electric delivery vehicles from 2026 on—so there may be more Canoos in the future.
Meanwhile, Canoo said last week that it had delivered some of its first customer vehicles to van rental firm Kingbee, which has a binding order for 9,300 vehicles, according to the startup. And in Nov. 2023 it showed a revised pickup variant spun off from a U.S. Army project—although Canoo hasn't recently clarified when it will ramp up personal-use sales.