Let’s start with the obvious: the new van isn’t pretty. Then again, the NGDV is paid for by a government agency, so it’s probably for the best that Oshkosh avoided throwing too much money toward the van’s design. If you need your packages delivered in style, then you can always order through Amazon, which will soon have a full fleet of Rivian-designed and built delivery vans.
So yes, Oshkosh’s NGDV looks like a rejected character from the Cars film franchise, but the company promises that underneath the truck’s ugly sheetmetal sits a modern, safe, and efficient mail van. Emphasis on modern. Whereas the Grumman features the bare minimum of creature comforts and safety equipment, the Oshkosh supports a surround-view camera system, traction control, an airbag, front- and rear-collision avoidance systems with automatic braking, blind-spot monitoring, and air conditioning. That’s right, you’re local mail carrier’s been sweating his or her butt off while plodding about in their assigned Grumman.
On top of this, the Oshkosh truck offers more cargo capacity for carrying everything from your letters to grandma to that new Peleton you plan to ride every day (yeah, right). Even better, the Oshkosh will deliver these items while sipping less fuel—the company will produce both internal combustion and battery-electric variants of the van throughout the 10-year production run.
Look for Oshkosh’s NGDV to start hitting postal routes in 2023, with the company eventually producing as few as 50,000 or as many as 165,000 of these trucks by the end of the decade-long contract. With its additional space for mail and the fact it has basic convenience features such as air-conditioning, the rather ungainly Oshkosh NGDV might make for happier mail carriers—and if enough BEV versions are produced, maybe a less-warming world, too.