Home » EV Startup Canoo Announces Deal With Post Office To Provide A Comically Small Number Of Vans

EV Startup Canoo Announces Deal With Post Office To Provide A Comically Small Number Of Vans

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There’s a lot of EV makers that feel quite close to becoming “real,” but maybe aren’t quite there yet. Canoo is one of my favorites in this category, as I think they have some genuinely novel design and packaging in their Lifestyle Delivery Van (LDV), and the cab-over pickup truck as well. The company has started building these EVs, but so far in limited numbers for fleet use. (Like the Astronaut Transfer Vehicle they built for NASA, where they delivered a fleet of one (1) vehicle). They’ve managed to sextuple (the sexiest kind of -tuple) their order this time, with a contract to supply six LDV190 electric vans to the United States Post Office, still America’s favorite place to get stamps.

The vans will be right-hand drive to facilitate mail delivery, and seem to be part of the Post Office’s evaluation program for electric vehicles, and are unlikely to be responsible for delivering all of America’s mail, divided among six vans. As Canoo’s press release states:

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Canoo is honored to participate as one of the potential suppliers in the groundbreaking electrification and modernization of the U.S. Postal Service’s delivery fleet as announced by the USPS on January 22, 2024. This effort is part of the USPS’s $40 billion investment strategy to upgrade and improve the organization’s processing, transportation, and delivery networks.

These Canoo LSVs seem like a pretty decent choice for EV mail trucks; their cabover design means there’s no length wasted to some greedy hood, with nearly the whole length of the vehicle dedicated to either people or cargo. Plus, the interesting lower front window that is a hallmark of Canoo’s design looks like it would be quite useful for a vehicle that must roam neighborhoods filled with kids and pets and the occasional runaway Roomba.

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If we look at the image of the USPS liveried Canoo LDV190 shown in the press release, you can note a few differences when compared to the LDV190 shown on Canoo’s site:

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One strange thing about that picture there – is that front corner window opaque? What’s going on there? It seems like it would be far too large to be an opaque window, right? But what exactly is going on in that image?

The wheels on the USPS van are nice basic steelies, the side mirror is higher on the…what pillar is that? A? B? Let’s say B. There’s also more reflectors and side marker lamps, and it looks like larger vertical taillamps in the middle of the rear doors, which also have a raised section that houses the license plate, too. There’s also a missing seam or body panel cutline before the rear wheelarch, but that could be hidden under a wrap? I’m not sure. It’s quite close overall, though.

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The USPS delivery van is notably different than the vehicle delivered for Canoo’s other high-profile US-government client, NASA, which used the smaller Lifestyle Vehicle, their people-hauling EV.

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These LDV190 are just six of 66,000 EVs the USPS will be buying by 2028, 45,000 of which will be the Next Generation Delivery Vehicles still being developed. The Post Office just showed off the first of their new EV chargers a couple days ago, starting at an Atlanta mail sorting center. The Canoo LDV190 has a range of about 250 miles, 200 horsepower, and a cargo capacity of 1,624 pounds of Amazon packages and junk mail.

Mail routes are pretty ideal for electric vehicles; set routes of known distance, plenty of overnight recharging times, low speed, stop-and-go driving, silent operation; these are all things that are great for EVs and lousy for gas or diesel vehicles.

I like the design of these Canoo LDVs a lot, and that makes me hope they’ll catch on. I think the packaging is great, and I’d like to see these guys humming along neighborhood streets.

EVs delivering mail feels like fruit hanging so low it’s scraping the dirt. This is something that should have already happened, so I’m happy to see any progress at all.

Good luck selling more than six to the mail carriers, Canoo!

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Lally Singh
Lally Singh
1 month ago

Sounds like a trial number, perhaps to determine if they should order more later.
I don’t “see” the problem with the A pillars. Yes they are in the way in the front, but they’re not crazy wide and you can see a ton around them.

Coater
Coater
1 month ago

Horrible design. Like another commenter pointed out, it pretends to ba cab-over but is not, therefore the A pillar ends up directly in your primary field of view and is super annoying, especially in urban environments where frontal blind spots are dangerous.
I know because I used to operate trains with a similar design and the danger in an urban setting was frightening. You could hide several defensive linemen in those blind spots.
This design is intended to vaguely evoke “future” at the expense of making the driver’s job more stressful. Shame.

Rexracer
Rexracer
1 month ago
Reply to  Coater

I want you to try something. Take a pen/pencil and hold it 1″ from your eye (closing the other one). Now move it to arms length. See how the pen went from blocking a large portion of your FOV to blocking very little?
Thats what happens with this. yes it blocks some and in a different location then a typical vehicle, but not as much in total.

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