February 13, 2015 – Last month USPS posted a Request for Information (RFI) notice for ‘next generation delivery vehicles’ on the Federal Business Opportunities website. “The Postal Service is continuing plans to introduce next generation delivery vehicles that are durable, affordable and better meet changing delivery needs.” USPS also clarified that the NGDV will be larger than the LLV.
The USPS fleet currently has more than 214,000 vehicles, including 180,000 delivery vehicles that are slated for replacement with next generation vehicles. Many of the existing vehicles are LLVs, which have become iconic symbols of the Postal Service.
“These vehicles served us well but they are nearing the end of their useful life. It’s time to move into the future with a new generation of vehicles that will better serve employees and customers alike,” said Delivery Operations VP Ed Phelan.
The United States Postal Service is issuing a Request for Information and Prequalification/Sources Sought for its Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV) Acquisition Program. The purpose of this RFI is to inform prospective suppliers on the USPS’s preliminary/draft specifications and plans for acquisition of NGDV fleet replacements.
Responses to this RFI are due on or before March 6, 2015 at 3:00PM EST. The Postal Service does not intend to award a contract on the basis of this Request for Information (RFI) or to pay for the information requested.
Below are USPS prepared questions and answers for the ‘next generation delivery vehicles’ Request for Information (RFI) notice.
Questions in response to RFI – NGDV
Submission Date: February 4, 2015
1. Has a DAR been presented to the Post Master General and the Board of Governors for approval of this program?
2. During the projected Production Period it is anticipated that there will be changes to the Safety and Emission requirements. It is likely that these new requirements will require additional engineering, validation and certification efforts on the part of the Vehicle Manufacturer after the initial vehicle configuration is developed and delivered to the USPS. Can the USPS provide guidance on how Regulatory mandated changes would be addressed by the USPS?
Response: All USPS vehicles must comply with applicable Federal and State standards. For additional information regarding model year 2017-2025 specific regulations and standards, please visit http://www.epa.gov/otaq/climate/regs-light-duty.htm for fuel economy and emissions related regulations or http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/import/FMVSS/ for safety related regulations.
3. Will the AFV fuel economy performance be factored into the Life Cycle Cost analysis for source selection? If yes, how is it be calculated?
Response: The AFV fuel economy performance will be factored into the Life Cycle Cost analysis. The fuel economy will be calculated according to the US Department of Energy definitions. The following link outlines the fuel conversion factors to gasoline gallon equivalents: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/vehiclesandfuels/epact/fuel_conversion_factors.html. For additional information, please visit the US Department of Energy website: http://www.afdc.energy.gov/. The USPS implements Gasoline Gallons Equivalents (GGE) for alternative fuels as explained in the USPS 2013 Sustainability Report: http://www.uspsonlinesolutions.com/sustainability-reports/project/environmental-stewardship/#section-Vehicles-and-fuel.
4. The RFI states that, “To defray supplier costs, the Postal Service will provide funding and pay a portion of prototype development and testing expenses under a negotiated milestone payment schedule.” Can the Postal Service be more specific on either a percentage or dollar value of such payments relating to costs incurred by the supplier?
Response: The Postal Service is working on the cost sharing idea and will have more specific information to be shared with the suppliers in the near future.
5. How many prototypes will be required for the prototype testing phase?
Response: Two or more prototypes will be required.
6. What percentage of material is required to be sourced in the United States?
Response: The Postal Service has not made a determination at this time as to what percentage of the end product will be required to be sourced in the United States.
Questions in response to RFI – NGDV
Submission Date: February 10, 2015
1. Can you define what information USPS is requesting for (Qualifications 3 a.) An overview of management? Is the information you’re requesting an overview of our executive team and their backgrounds?
Response: The RFI requests information to include “…an overview of management, vehicle prototype development, and production capabilities to be mobilized to meet USPS acquisition requirements”.
Management overview is intended to focus on the vision for how the overall program will be managed and executed, including design and engineering, facilities, production infrastructure, supply chain, and service support. It should provide insight on anticipated organizational arrangements, partnering, facilities, and capital strategies.
2. In September 2014 the USPS issued an RFI for information on replacement of the Rolling chassis for the fleet of Long Life Vehicles. What is the current status of this RFI and is the USPs still considering such an approach for all or part of the existing fleet.
Response: Use of a replacement Rolling Chassis for a portion of our existing fleet of Long Life Vehicles is still under consideration.
3. Does the USPS expect/require a design that will permit replacement of a rolling chassis in the NGDV, or does the USPS expect that the powertrain (having a 12 year design life) will be replaced on a component basis (axles, engine, transmission, etc.)
Response: The USPS does not require a design that will permit replacement of a rolling chassis in the NGDV. Replacement of the powertrain on a component basis would be sufficient. However, innovative designs that support cost-effective replacement of chassis and powertrains with cleaner and more efficient technologies will be considered in the proposal and prototype evaluations. Design concepts should facilitate flexible options in this regard, if possible. A practical view would be that powertrain component replacements are likely to be needed at various times.
4. Section 3.13.1 specifies sliding doors on both sides of the operator’s compartment and a door to the cargo area immediately behind the drivers seat bulkhead. Sliding the operator’s door back would obstruct the cargo door. Is it permissible for the cargo door to be obstructed when the operator’s door is open?
Response: It would be permissible for the cargo door to be obstructed when the operator’s door is open. The USPS encourages innovative solutions to door design, as well as ease of carrier ingress/egress via all doors. While innovation is encouraged, durability of door components is a critical consideration.
5. Is it a requirement that there be a physical bulkhead behind the driver seat, or can a mini-van style of open body be considered. Is an open body possible, or preferred. If so will there need to be a restraining wall to prevent cargo from sliding forwards.
Response: It is a requirement that there be a physical bulkhead behind the driver’s seat for driver safety. The bulkhead, combined with a sliding/locking door, will provide required security of the mail in the cargo section.
6. Is it possible to receive the specifications in text searchable format? The pdf’s on FBO are in an image format.
Response: A searchable.pdf formatted file of the vehicle specifications is now available on the Federal Business Opportunities website.
7. Will the USPS consider 2 (or more) different classes of powertrain within the fleet? There is a substantial difference between the operation of vehicles in city and rural use, however the performance requirements, particularly the requirement for a sustained road speed of not less than 65 mph considerably exceeds the average route speed of a vehicle operating in a city route. Alternate powertrains within a standard body may provide benefits.
Response: The USPS will consider powertrain options for operating and cost benefits and risks in the fleet. All vehicles need to operate in city traffic and also safely operate at typical highway speeds.
8. With reference to 220.127.116.11 we believe the current LLV does not provide standing room for a tall person. Table 3.1 specifies a ceiling to floor height of 76″ (6 ft 6″). Does the USPS anticipate that the NGDV will be significantly larger than the LLV?
Response: The NGDV, as specified in Table 3.1, will be larger than the LLV. Standing headroom is a requirement for the NGDV and will significantly add to the volume of the vehicle compared to the LLV. The USPS encourages innovation in providing the specified interior volume while minimizing the external dimensions of the NGDV design to the extent practicable.