Ohio’s Workhorse challenges Postal van fleet award in federal court

Rodolfo Schellin

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service didn’t give Workhorse Team Inc. a reasonable shot at a deal worth as significantly as $6 billion to create mail shipping and delivery vans, the maker of EVs stated in its challenge of the service’s determination to award the do the job to Oshkosh Corp.

The Postal Service “put its thumb on the scale versus Workhorse” in component by blaming a prototype for driver mistake, the Loveland, Ohio-dependent company stated in a complaint at the U.S. Court docket of Federal Promises in Washington, D.C. The complaint was filed beneath seal June sixteen, and a redacted variation was filed June 28.

The Feb. 23 award to Oshkosh for as numerous as 165,000 mostly gasoline-powered vehicles drew notice due to the fact it bypassed fledgling electric-motor vehicle specialist Workhorse soon after President Joe Biden ordered a thoroughly clean-electricity fleet. Supporters of the Postal Service go say it is urgent to substitute older mail vehicles with mounting maintenance expenditures.

Oshkosh has stated its motor vehicle can be crafted to use both electric electrical power or a gasoline engine. Residence lawmakers in May possibly moved toward shelling out $eight billion to create much more EVs.

Workhorse in its complaint stated the Postal Service “ensured it experienced no reasonable probability of a deal award.” The agency treated Workhorse much more harshly than rivals and didn’t give more than enough notice of perceived deficiencies of the company’s proposal, according to the complaint.

The USPS misleadingly claimed a flaw in the brake technique remaining a prototype to roll into a ditch, injuring a examination monitor driver, according to the complaint. In actuality, the Postal Service employee incorrectly remaining the prototype in “drive” fairly than “park,” Workhorse stated in the complaint.

Kimberly Frum, a Postal Service spokeswoman, declined to comment on the litigation.

Preparations are continuing to produce the vehicles, which may possibly look on mail routes in 2023, Frum stated. Numerous vehicles in the Postal Service fleet have been in service for thirty decades or much more, Frum stated.

Workhorse questioned the courtroom to grant it the deal soon after invalidating the award to Oshkosh, or instruct the Postal Service to make a new award determination.

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