Canoo still hasn’t delivered a single car to consumers, yet the upstart EV company is inking deals left and right with government agencies. First, they teamed up with NASA for shuttle transport vehicles, then the Oklahoma state government – even the US Army evaluated Canoo’s capabilities. Now the United States Postal Service (USPS) is pinging Canoo for a pint-sized fleet of mail delivery vans.
The USPS placed an order for six right-hand-drive versions of the Lifestyle Delivery Vehicle 190 – an extended variant of its electric van with an enclosed rear cargo hold. Yes, just six vehicles.
The USPS should be able to get around 200 miles of range with the Canoo LDV 190, which has a 79.0-kilowatt-hour battery pack with DC fast charging capabilities, and 200 horsepower on the base version (or up to 350 hp on certain specs). The cargo hold can carry up to 172.0 cubic feet and haul up to 1,624 pounds of mail. Converting the Canoos to right-hand drive was a relatively simple process, notes Canoo CEO Tony Aquila.
“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,” says Aquila.
The electric vans play a small role in the Postal Service’s larger $40 billion investment toward upgrading and improving its fleet. In 2022, the government announced Oshkosh Defense would build a new fleet of mail trucks for the USPS, but after delays surrounding powertrain issues, those upgraded mail trucks have been put on hold until later this year.
The six Canoo vans will be delivered to the USPS early this year, and by the end of 2024, we could see those USPS EVs and Oshkosh mail trucks on the road simultaneously.
In a statement from the USPS to Motor1, the organization said that is continuing to “explore commercial-off-the-shelf electric delivery vehicles that have the potential to meet the unique requirements of our delivery mission.” So if it likes the Canoo’s performance, we could be seeing a whole lot more Government-owned startup electric vans in the future.