March 1, 2021 1:00 PM, EST

Workhorse to Meet With USPS Over Truck Contract

 (Luke Sharret/Bloomberg News)

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Representatives of electric-truck maker Workhorse Group Inc. are scheduled to meet with officials at the U.S. Postal Service March 3 as the company explores options for challenging the loss of a massive contract to build the next generation of postal trucks.

Speaking on an earnings call March 1, Workhorse Chief Executive Officer Duane Hughes said the decision to award a $6 billion contract to Wisconsin-based competitor Oshkosh Corp. was “not the result we anticipated.” He said Workhorse will “explore all avenues available to us.”

“We understand that many people want answers and information in a timely manner and we will continue to work with the Postal Service according to the terms of engagement as we move forward,” Hughes said.

Shares of the Loveland, Ohio, company lost 51% of its value last week after the Postal Service announced its decision to award a 10-year contract to manufacture a new fleet of as many as 165,000 postal delivery vehicles. Only 10% of those are planned to be electric, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy told a congressional committee last week.

Wall Street analysts and others have said the decision was shocking, especially given President Joe Biden’s executive order mandating that the government’s massive fleet of vehicles go green to help fight climate change.

“We are talking to different entities and groups out there and let’s say we are going to get information inflow, right, so we know what available options that we have,” Hughes said. The goal is for the company to “approach not just the post office, but whomever else we have to approach to better understand how we go about having a constructive conversation that leads to something more positive down the road.”

Allies on Capitol Hill have called for the contract to Oshkosh to be scrapped.

“The @USPS has the largest fleet of government-owned vehicles. If we are going to electrify the government fleet like @POTUS says, we need to start with USPS. Yet Postmaster DeJoy says new USPS vehicles will be 90% gasoline. That’s unacceptable. This contract needs re-examined,” Rep. Tim Ryan, an Ohio Democrat, said in a tweet.

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