Apr 29, 2022 - Politics & Policy

16 states sue Postal Service over gas-powered mail trucks

Picture of a USPS truck
The Postal Service's next-generation delivery vehicle. Photo courtesy of OshKosh Defense

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia are among those suing the U.S. Postal Service to block its purchase of 148,000 gasoline-powered mail delivery trucks.

Driving the news: The state attorneys general, Earthjustice and the Natural Resources Defense Council say the federal agency severely underestimated the cost of the vehicles and the toll on the environment, according to the Washington Post.

  • The agency projected gas prices of $2.19 per gallon, for example — nearly $2 less than the U.S. average this week.

The big picture: President Biden wants to electrify the entire federal vehicle fleet by 2035, including the Postal Service's 217,000 mail delivery trucks, which make up the largest share of the civilian government fleet.

Yes, but: Under the Postal Service's $11 billion purchase plan, only 10% of the agency's new fleet would consist of electric vehicles, well below the standard set by its competitors FedEx, UPS and Amazon.

Feeling the heat perhaps, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy placed an order for 50,000 trucks in March that included 10,019 EVs, roughly double his original commitment. The trucks are expected to hit the street by the end of 2023.

The bottom line: The lawsuit shows critics don't think it's nearly enough.

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