The U.S. mail truck is iconic. From the old DJ Jeeps to the Grumann Long Life Vehicles, they have always been instantly recognizable. USPS operates 215,000 vehicles – the largest civilian fleet in the world – of which 140,000 are at least 20 years old and are now near the end of their lives.
As a result, the service appealed for designs and bids for a new fleet of mail trucks, and has issued contracts to six manufacturers to design and build prototypes.
The team at Motor1 in collaboration with Varooma decided to present what we think are six of the best ideas for replacing the beloved U. S. mail truck.
1. AM General Military HUMMER
With the Hummer’s all-weather and all-terrain operating capabilities, you can be sure that this vehicle will get your parcel to anywhere at any time. Its payload of up to 5,100lbs means plenty of parcels can be packed into the back, and if a war breaks out or the apocalypse comes, the armour kit will mean mail will still reach us unscathed.
On top of that, the postman will be happy and comfortable thanks to the on board air-con. The options are endless, and if you fancy shooting your packages across tricky terrain, you can mount various guns and launchers on the roof.
Pick-up versions are available too, so if a postal destination is that bit further, it can be loaded up with a kayak or a mountain bike for the last leg.
2. Jeep Wrangler
Jeep’s history of making mail trucks – the iconic Dispatcher Jeep – surely gives this contender nostalgia value. As the Wrangler’s box shape and simple exterior certainly nods to its ancestor, the simple addition of a USPS logo could have you fooled into thinking things had never changed!
The Wrangler is rugged and reliable, with a floor you can hose down, a ‘Command-Trac’ winter driving system, tow hooks to help pull it out of tricky places and protective skid plates to stop the fuel tank and other parts getting damaged.
It also benefits from heated seats, to keep your delivery man warm and cosy.
3. Tesla Model X
The Model X’s big draw is its green credentials. With a 289 mile range from a single $13.20 charge of its battery, this could be the car to cut USPS’ fuel costs and reduce the service’s impact on the environment. The car is also fast, going from 0-60 in 2.9 seconds.
It also has the ability to beat the drones at their own game, with its autopilot function, allowing it to head to destinations on its own. And if Tesla can apply the technology from its robotic charging arm, there could even be the possibility of robotic delivery once the car reaches its destination!
4. Mercedes-Benz Vision Van Concept
The Vision Van is built for deliveries, and boasts an impressive array of features, including launch and landing pads for delivery drones, pavement delivery robots and a huge space for loads in the back.
The lack of windows on the sides or back allows for plenty of branding to be applied to the vehicle, and you could potentially hang more drones from the side.
Like the Tesla, this Vision Van runs on electricity, and boasts 168 miles from a single charge. It also has autopilot, but includes a seat and joystick for a driver, should you need one.
5. Nikola One Semi (with trailer attached)
For the long-haul, large-scale type of shipments, the Nikola One Semi might be the answer. The truck is powered by hydrogen, and creates zero emissions, making it clean and green. It even comes with a million miles’ worth of free fuel.
The cab will pull up to 80,000 pounds – allowing your mail man to send large volumes of post across the country. There’s no need to charge the vehicle, just fill up with hydrogen and keep going. The 2,000 horsepower engine will also ensure that there’s no hill high enough!
6. Ferrari GTC4 Lusso
This is not your usual Ferrari. As well as boasting a 6.3 litre V12 engine, and 0-100km acceleration in 3.4 seconds, it also seats four and boasts a very generous trunk – 800 litres when the rear seats are folded down.
Four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering mean your mail man will be in for a stable yet agile drive, and with quieter heating fans, leather interior and an optional panoramic glass roof, you can guarantee a relaxed postman arrives at the other end.
AM General. (2016). U.S. Defense. amgeneral.com
Ballaban, M. (2014). Yes, Mail Used To Be Delivered By Jeep In America. jalopnik.com
Ferrari. (2016). GTC4Lusso. gtc4lusso.ferrari.com
Jeep. (2016). Wrangler. jeep.com
Krok, A. (2016). The Mercedes-Benz Vision Ban is the effing-sweet future of logistics. cnet.com
Marriage, O. (2016). Review: the new Ferrari GTC4Lusso. topgear.com
Mearian, L. (2016). Nikola Motor gets $2.3B worth of preorders for 2,000HP…. computerworld.com
Nikola Motor Company. (2016). Nikola One. nikolamotor.com
Parsons, J. (2015). Watch Tesla’s creepy robotic metal charging snake…. mirror.co.uk
Tesla. (2016). Model X. tesla.com
So there you have it. We’d love to see a Fararri speeding the post to our doors, or a Hummer boosting its way across the avenue with our parcels. What do you think? Spot on? Or have we we’ve missed some other special contenders? We want to know your suggestions!