After USPS unveiled its new Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV) that would replace the aging fleet of mail trucks, the Postal Service came under fire for planning to order mainly gasoline-powered trucks, ignoring climate change.
The US Postal Service’s original contract for the NGDVs with Wisconsin’s Oshkosh Defense called for about 50,000 new vehicles of which only 10% would be battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
Climate change activists, President Joe Biden, and many Democrats in Congress decried this procurement plan as insufficient to meet their goals to address climate change.
As a result, in March, the US Postal Service announced it would double its order of EVs to 10,019, but even that number fell way short of what was anticipated.
USPS said in June it was reviewing its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that encompasses all operations of the Postal Service, but could also lead to making another adjustment to the mix of NGDVs it plans to deploy.
USPS Makes Another Adjustment to Fleet Mix
In what appears to be another response to the continued criticism regarding its lack of BEVs being added to its fleet, USPS has announced that it will now plan to purchase at least half of all NGDVs as electric vehicles.
In addition, USPS now also plans to procure 34,500 commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) vehicles over a two-year period to supplement the current purpose-built NGDV order.
While USPS did not specify exactly how many COTS would be electric vehicles, the Postal Service said that it will acquire as many BEVs as are commercially available and within its operational needs.
In total, USPS’s fleet modernization plan now encompasses 84,500 new delivery vehicles of which it anticipates more than 40 percent will be BEVs.
Moreover, USPS anticipates further evaluation and procurement of delivery vehicles over shorter time frames in response to its evolving operational strategy, technological advances, and changing market conditions, including the expected increased availability of BEVs in the future.
“The Postal Service reiterates its commitment to the fiscally responsible roll-out of electric-powered vehicles for America’s largest and oldest federal fleet,” USPS said in a statement.
New NGDVs are expected to start servicing postal routes in late 2023.
Additional information can be found at https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection/2022-15616/environmental-impact-statements-availability-etc-supplement-to-the-next-generation-delivery-vehicles.
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