USPS To Boost Purchase Of Electric Delivery Vehicles
Darreonna Davis, Contributor
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) said Wednesday it will dramatically increase the share of electric vehicles among a fleet of new delivery vehicles it’s ordering, following criticism from environmental advocates and federal officials and lawsuits that accused USPS of violating the National Environmental Policy Act with plans to order up to 165,000 gas-powered trucks over 10 years.
USPS said it expects that at least 40% of the 84,500 Next-Generation Delivery Vehicles and commercial-off-the-shelf vehicles it now plans to purchase will be battery-electric, up from at least 10% previously.
In February, the White House criticized USPS for inking an $11.3 billion contract with Oshkosh Corp. to develop thousands of gas-powered vehicles before beginning an environmental review, saying “the agency committed to walk down a path before looking to see where the path was leading.”
Sixteen states have sued USPS over its plan to buy gas-powered delivery vehicles, claiming the agency’s environmental analysis was “flawed.”
Democratic lawmakers in the House have introduced legislation that would mandate that 75% of the next-gen delivery vehicles be electric.
1.7 million Metric Tons. That’s how much carbon dioxide USPS mail trucks released between 2018 and 2020 according to Salon.
The youngest of USPS’ current mail trucks was delivered in 1994 and they’re now well past their 24-year life expectancy. Over 400 of the aging trucks caught fire from 2014 through 2020, according to documents obtained by Vice. Securing new vehicles is an urgent need for the cash-strapped USPS, which lost $9.2 billion in 2020 on top of $69 billion in losses in the previous 11 fiscal years. The Biden Administration is pushing for the electrification of 600,000 federal cars and trucks by 2050.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
USPS said the new delivery vehicles will begin to enter service late next year. It’s holding a public hearing for its supplemental environmental impact statement on its re-fleeting plan on Aug. 8 at 7 p.m.
Pa. among 16 states suing U.S. Postal Service over lack of electric vehicles (Stateimpact Pennsylvania)
Why The U.S. Post Office Is In Trouble – 678,539 Employees And A $9.2 Billion Loss In 2020 (Forbes)
I am a breaking news intern and HBCU Scholar at Forbes this summer. I study journalism and write/edit for The Hilltop at Howard University…. Read More