Photo by Paul Clinton.

Photo by Paul Clinton.

By using modified, off-the-shelf mass-market vehicles and upgrading its fleet at least once in the next 20-25 years, the United States Postal Service (USPS) could save as much as $1.9 billion over the life of the fleet, according to analysis by the organization Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE).

The USPS is now finalizing its strategy for future vehicle purchases. The quasigovernmental agency plans to replace the majority of its 180,000 Long Life Vehicles (LLVs) at a cost of up to $6.3 billion, and has identified 15 possible manufacturers for the next-generation delivery vehicle.

SAFE's analysis found that the total cost of ownership of a fleet composed of a variety of off-the-shelf vehicles would be significantly less than one based around a single, custom-built vehicle manufactured exclusively for USPS. The analysis was conducted by economic policy research firm Keybridge LLC, which is headed by Robert Wescott, former chief economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisors.

Analysis results were based on calculations using the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuel Life-Cycle Environmental and Economic Transportation (AFLEET) Tool, as well as a comparison of a sample fleet of representative vehicles from possible future USPS vehicle manufacturers that included the Jeep Cherokee, Ford Transit Connect, and Nissan e-NV200, according to the report.

Click here for a summary of the report's key findings and to download the report in its entirety.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet