In a major reversal, the US Postal Service (USPS) has announced that it will ensure that 75% of new vehicles purchased in the next several years will be electric. By 2026, that will increase to 100% of purchases.
The USPS announced in a press release that it expects to acquire at least 66,000 battery electric delivery vehicles from defense contractor Oshkosh as part of its 106,000 vehicle acquisition plan for deliveries between now and 2028. Further, 21,000 additional commercial off-the-shelf vehicles are also expected to be battery electric.
It’s also formally declaring the decision today at 1 p.m. in front of the Postal Service Headquarters Building in Washington, DC. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy; John Podesta, senior adviser to the president for clean energy innovation and implementation; Brenda Mallory, chair, White House Council on Environmental Quality; and Ali Zaidi, assistant to the president and national climate adviser will be making the announcement.
The EVs the USPS purchases will begin to replace its aging delivery fleet of over 220,000 vehicles. The current old mail trucks – Grumman LLVs – get a pathetic 8.2 mpg. They don’t have air conditioning or airbags.
The funding comes from $3 billion in the Inflation Reduction Act ($1.3 for vehicles, $1.7 for charging stations). More specifically, $1.29 billion will be allocated to purchasing electric trucks, and $1.71 billion will be spent to upgrade BEV support infrastructure at USPS offices.
Another $6.6 billion from the USPS will mainly go toward heavy-duty trucks and other nondelivery vehicles for a total of almost $10 billion to electrify the largest civilian fleet in the federal government.
As Electrek‘s Jameson Dow noted in August, “It’s the latest move in the long saga for postal service electrification and effectively ‘calls USPS’s bluff’ by supplying as much funding as the USPS claimed a 100% BEV fleet would cost.”
In April, several environmental groups and over a dozen states took the USPS to court over its plan to double down on fossil fuel mail trucks.
Katherine García, director of the Sierra Club’s Clean Transportation for All campaign, said in a statement:
Finally we’re seeing the common-sense decision to move the government’s largest fleet of vehicles to all-electric, a massive win for climate and public health.
Instead of receiving pollution with their daily mail packages, communities across the US will get the relief of cleaner air. The way we get to a 100% electric fleet matters – these vehicles must be union-built and made with materials from a clean supply chain.