September 26, 2016 1:50 PM, EDT

US Postal Service Picks Six Firms to Produce Prototype Delivery Vehicles

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News

The U.S. Postal Service awarded contracts to six companies to produce prototype vehicles as part of a program to replace aging mail delivery trucks with vehicles that are better suited to carrying packages and that utilize alternative fuels.

AM General, Karsan Pazalama A.S., Mahindra Group, Oshkosh Corp., Spartan Motors and VT Hackney will receive a total of $37.4 million to produce 50 prototypes over the next year.

The vehicles will then be tested in a different climates, topography, population centers and delivery environments, a Postal Service spokesman said.

Also, the Postal Service said it will seek bids for commercial off-the-shelf right-hand drive delivery vehicles and evaluate those vehicles alongside the prototypes to determine the type of vehicle best suited to replace nearly 180,000 mail trucks in the postal fleet.