USPS to deploy 66,000 EVs by 2028
The United States Postal Service (USPS) has announced a further increase in the share of electric vehicles in new fleet purchases. In total, the USPS plans to deploy at least 66,000 battery-electric delivery vehicles by 2028.
The Postal Service expects to increase the number of purpose-built Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDVs) to more than 60,000 by 2028, of which at least 45,000 will be battery-electric. This corresponds to an electric quota of 75 per cent. A total of 21,000 additional BEVs are to be added to the so-called Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) vehicles by 2028.
Although the postal service states in the current announcement that all vehicles to be delivered between 2026 and 2028 are expected to be purely electric, USPS still intends to procure internal combustion vehicles in the interim. Holding back on set dates for complete decarbonisation, the USPS says the feasibility of 100 per cent electrification of the Postal Service’s entire delivery fleet is merely being “further explored”.
The company has now confirmed the increased level of procurement of EVs that was already leaked in August. Now the USPS is receiving additional funding of three billion dollars from the Inflation Reduction Act from the US government for the electrification of its delivery fleet. The total investment in the new fleet is expected to add up to 9.6 billion dollars (currently nine billion euros).
“We have a statutory requirement to deliver mail and packages to 163 million addresses six days per week and to cover our costs in doing so – that is our mission. As I have said in the past, if we can achieve those objectives in a more environmentally responsible way, we will do so,” says US Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who was appointed by former president Donald Trump and had come under considerable criticism for initially very low targets for zero-emission vehicles. “The $3 billion provided by Congress has significantly reduced the risk associated with accelerating the implementation of a nationwide infrastructure necessary to electrify our delivery fleet. While most of the electric vehicle funding will continue to come from Postal Service revenues, we are grateful for the confidence that Congress and the Administration have placed in us to build and acquire what has the potential to become the largest electric vehicle fleet in the nation.”
The renewal of the US postal delivery fleet has been mired in controversy. In February, USPS declared its intention to procure 165,000 NGDVs – with a BEV share of only ten per cent. Then in March 2022, 50,000 NGDVs were ordered from military supplier Oshkosh, including 10,000 electric transporters (or 20 per cent). In July, under intense criticism, the intention was declared to increase the BEV quota for NGDVs to at least 50 per cent while procuring 34,500 COTS – with a combined BEV quota of at least 40 per cent.
The change in tune from Dejoy was illustrated by his statement in the current press release that: “The Postal Service’s vehicle initiative, and I personally, have benefited from the collaborative spirit of John Podesta, Senior Advisor to the President and leader of the Office of Energy Innovation, as well as leaders within the Council on Environmental Quality and the Climate Policy Office. These professionals have demonstrated a real appreciation and understanding for how vehicle electrification can be incorporated into the Postal Service’s mission and transformation, while not distracting from it. In our own way, we have all been faithful stewards of how IRA funding and Postal funding will be spent.”
The effective electrification of postal delivery fleets and set decarbonisation targets have been demonstrated quite effectively by DHL, for example, which operates globally.