USPS is dramatically increasing its electric mail truck order
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."