The United States Postal Service announced in February that the next mail truck would be made by Oshkosh Defense, choosing them over Workhorse, a small startup probably most famous for its association with former President Trump. Well, Workhorse isn’t going down without a fight.
Electric vehicle company Workhorse Group (WKHS.O) will file a legal challenge to the U.S. Postal Service decision in February to award a multibillion-dollar, 10-year contract to Oshkosh Defense (OSK.N) to manufacture a new generation of postal delivery vehicles, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The bid protest will be filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims as early as Wednesday, the source said.
Neither the USPS nor Workhorse commented when Reuters asked, though the news did cause Workhorse’s stock price to jump. It isn’t immediately clear what Workhorse’s chance of success is, but, usually, when the government decides to do something, talking them out of it is pretty difficult.
Further, Workhorse has a hard argument to make for itself, given that Oshkosh has been making vehicles for the American government for decades, while Workhorse has a more unproven history, with the entire company (basically) premised on winning the USPS contract. Which means that for Workhorse this is probably a fight for survival.
Workhorse is also at somewhat of a public relations disadvantage, as it is operating under a non-disclosure agreement with the USPS, while Oshkosh’s truck is out in the world for everyone to see. Oshkosh and the USPS would just hate for you to see how nifty their truck is.
I don’t really have a dog in this fight except to say that I do hope that whatever the next mail truck is is electric, given that a mail route is one of the best real-world use-cases for electric vehicles. Mail trucks travel at low speeds so air resistance is less of a drag on battery life, mail trucks don’t have to travel far, and post offices would be natural places to recharge. It’s hard enough to convince some people that electric is the solution, which is all the more reason to prioritize going electric where it makes the most sense.