Jul 20, 2022 - Energy & Environment

USPS is dramatically increasing its electric mail truck order

The USPS' next-gen mail truck.

Photo courtesy of USPS

The U.S. Postal Service on Wednesday significantly boosted its commitment to replace its aging delivery fleet with more electric vehicles.

Why it matters: The agency faced a massive backlash from lawmakers, environmental groups and others after announcing in March that it would spend nearly $3 billion on an initial order for 50,000 new mail trucks from Oshkosh Defense, 90% of which would be gasoline-powered.

  • Sixteen states, four environmental groups and the United Auto Workers union sued to block the plan.
  • The Biden administration and many lawmakers also asked the agency to reconsider.

Driving the news: The new plan reflects "refinements" based on improvements in the agency's financial outlook and availability of technology, the USPS said in a statement.

  • The agency now says that at least half of the 50,000 vehicles it plans to purchase from Oshkosh Defense will be battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
  • In addition, the Postal Service said it will purchase another 34,500 vehicles from other manufacturers, "including as many BEVs as are commercially available."
  • Of the total 84,500 vehicles to be purchased, more than 40% will be electric.

What they're saying: “Public pressure is working," said Joe Britton, executive director of the Zero Emission Transportation Association.

  • "Today’s commitment to acquire at least a 40% electric fleet shows that the Postal Service understands the strategic disadvantage it would create for itself if it were to just rely on gas-powered vehicles for decades to come."
  • "Fleet electrification will deliver massive climate, economic and health benefits to the American people — and provide significant cost savings to the Postal Service itself."
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