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Ford Extends Lead Over Rivian With Big USPS E-Transit Electric Van Order

Ford’s 2023 E-Transit is the leading all-electric delivery van in production today. Ford’s new big order from the United States Postal Service will help to grow that lead.

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Ford announced this week that it had received an order for 9,250 E-Transit all-electric delivery vans. According to Ford, the E-Transit presently leads the industry with regard to deliveries, outpacing Rivian’s vans, which are often associated with Amazon’s delivery vehicles due to an abundance of press reports. Ford's claim is based on vehicle registration numbers.

USPS Statement On New Ford E-Transit Order
This new order from USPS was awarded after USPS conducted a competitive search to find the best electric van in America. “We are moving forward with our plans to simultaneously improve our service, reduce our cost, grow our revenue, and improve the working environment for our employees. Electrification of our vehicle fleet is now an important component of these initiatives,” said Louis DeJoy, Postmaster General. “We have developed a strategy that mitigates both cost and risk of deployment – which enable execution on this initiative to begin now. I again want to thank the Administration officials and members of Congress who have assisted us in this initiative. Each has shown genuine understanding that our movement toward electrification must be thoughtful and deliberate, must appropriately manage risk, and must be consistent with our primary delivery mission for the American people.”

Ford's President Takes Note of Order from USPS
Ford’s President and CEO, Jim Farley, issued a statement on the purchase as well, saying, “Ford is proud to support the United States Postal Service in delivering a more sustainable future for America by electrifying their fleet with over 9,200 E-Transit vans through the end of 2024. Together with USPS, we are committing to cleaner air and a better planet."

Image of E-Transit van with "100% Electric" logo courtesy of FordFord E-Transit Popular For Many Applications
The E-Transit is gaining popularity across all commercial and municipal applications. It can be used by cities, towns, and other municipalities as an all-electric general-purpose van. The E-Transit also makes a perfect delivery van for services like USPS and Amazon. Many such delivery and multi-purpose EVs stay in a relatively small geography as they go about their workday, so maximum range is not at all a concern, as it often is with private sales of cars and crossovers for personal use. One Boston-area Amazon driver Torque News interviewed told us that the normal daily shift covers less than 50 miles. An electrician we spoke with (who installed our newest EV charger) told us that his typical workday rarely exceeds 100 driven miles. Ford’s research determined that the average daily range for all commercial vans in the U.S. is 74 miles. The E-Transit has a standard range of more than double that at 164 miles. The battery in the E-Transit is about the same size as that used in the subcompact Chevy Bolt EV.

USPS - "E-Transit is Domestically-Sourced"
The E-Transit is as American as apple pie. It’s built in Kansas City by UAW Local 249 union workers. E-Transit customers can also work with any of 300 qualified upfitters across the United States, including 13 that are conveniently located within 30 miles of the Missouri assembly plant.

The Rivian EV Delivery Mystery
To ensure that we accurately explained the all-electric delivery van market in this story, Torque News communicated with Rivian. A spokesperson for the company wrote back to us that Rivian does not share year-end delivery numbers by vehicle model, nor does Rivian share its commercial vehicle delivery numbers. Reuters also recently reported that Rivian opted not to share its present order volume with investors this quarter, something it had done in the past. Draw your own conclusion from these facts, but it sure paints a negative picture in our minds. By contrast to Rivian’s reluctance to share its delivery volumes, Ford issues a public statement each quarter detailing all of its deliveries broken down by individual model, comments on its various market segment penetration, and makes available to us very responsive public relations professionals who answer media inquiries quickly and fully.

Ford looks poised to lead the industry in a very important electric vehicle segment. Unlike personal vehicles, which often sit idle nearly all of the workday, delivery vans are constantly in use, often for multiple shifts. If there is a better use of limited EV battery capacity, we can't name it.

High-profile performance vehicles sold in tiny numbers tend to get the lion’s share of EV reporting today. That’s a shame. It is vehicles like the E-Transit that make the most sense if the end goal of vehicle electrification is a reduction in carbon output and pollution.

Image of Ford E-Transit all-electric delivery van in use in Acton, Massachusetts by John Goreham.

John Goreham is an experienced New England Motor Press Association member and expert vehicle tester. John completed an engineering program with a focus on electric vehicles, followed by two decades of work in high-tech, biopharma, and the automotive supply chain before becoming a news contributor. In addition to his ten years of work at Torque News, John has published thousands of articles and reviews at American news outlets. He is known for offering unfiltered opinions on vehicle topics. You can follow John on Twitter, and TikTok @ToknCars, and view his credentials at Linkedin

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DeanMcManis (not verified)    March 4, 2023 - 12:54PM

This is very good news! Not so much about Ford rivaling Rivian, but because Postmaster DeJoy was caught with his hand in the cookie jar issuing the contract for billions of dollars for replacement postal vehicles to Oshkosh, who had never built an EV before. One whole year's worth of Oshkosh stock was purchased the day before he awarded the huge contract. Ironically, Oshkosh's demo vehicle was a Ford E-Transit van, but their actual shipping vehicle was an ugly monstrosity that wasn't even a hybrid and got 8.6MPG! After a house committee investigation was started, Dejoy backpeddled a bit to purchase the far superior Ford E-Transit vans, but he is still issuing the bulk of the $$$ new postal vehicle contract to Oshkosh and their gas guzzler nightmare vans.