The United States Postal Service (USPS) has announced increasing the EV share and now plans to ensure 40 per cent of its new fleet is electric. This is due to a change in an otherwise controversial order from Oshkosh Defense.
USPS had been set to purchase 165,000 vehicles from Oshkosh Defense, of which 10 per cent would have been electric under the original procurement plan. This share was then increased to 20%, but even this 20 per cent was only planned after heavy criticism, which continued.
16 US states and environmental groups had filed suit against the procurement plan. Specifically, USPS was accused of conducting a flawed and illegal environmental analysis and signing contracts before completing a draft environmental review.
Now the federal mail service said it would acquire 50,000 trucks from Oshkosh, half of which will be EVs. It will also buy another 34,500 commercially available vehicles, electric models, to make four in ten trucks in its delivery fleet zero-emission vehicles, adding up to the 40% mentioned above EV share.
While this brings the agency closer to conforming with President Biden’s climate goals, activists still want the Postal Service’s fleet to consist of at least 75 per cent EVs; the agency’s Office of Inspector General found that 95 per cent of delivery routes are suitable for electrification.
The Postal Service, in its statement, also claimed network refinements and route optimisation enabling them to introduce a shortened delivery vehicle procurement interval.
The new delivery vehicles are expected to start servicing postal routes in late 2023.
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