USPS orders 9,250 EVs & 14,000 chargers
The United States Postal Service (USPS) has ordered 9,250 Ford E-Transit electric delivery vans and 14,000 chargers. Charging stations will be installed at USPS locations, supplied by Blink Charging, Siemens and Rexel USA, with an investment of $260 million.
USPS notes in announcing the purchase that this acquisition plan “conforms with the electrification strategy announced in December 2022 with senior White House officials.” Here, the postal service refers to its revised strategy to deploy at least 66,000 Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDV) specially developed for USPS by Oshkosh Defense by 2028 as well as the promise to acquire 21,000 additional BEVs, which are to be so-called Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) by the same date.
This purchase fulfils only a half of that promise of 21,000 additional electric vehicle purchases. Along with the 9,250 BEVS, the postal service is also issuing a contract for 9,250 commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) internal combustion engine vehicles “to fill the urgent need for vehicles.” USPS says the combined cost of this current order for 9,250 purely electric Ford E-transit and 9,259 combustion engineRam ProMaster vans from Chrysler-parent Stellantis was just over one billion dollars. USPS says it expects to spend $9.6 billion on vehicle acquisitions through 2028.
USPS became mired in controversy when it initially only aimed for 10 per cent of newly purchased vehicles to be electric. Back in December, 2021, President Biden stipulated that light-duty vehicles acquired by the government be emission-free by 2027. Since the Postal Service is an independent federal agency, it was not bound to these executive orders. After numerous discussions and finally the agreement with the White House in December last year, USPS electrification ambitions were dramatically revised upwards.
According to Reuters, the US environmental group Earthjustice praised this recent purchase of 9,250 electric Ford vehicles but also said, “the Postal Service should have finished its environmental review before also sinking millions in funding in the same number of combustion mail trucks that will pollute our neighborhoods for decades.”
UPSP has said that the new vehicles just ordered will replace 30-year-old trucks that USPS says lack elements such as air bags and other unspecified safety equipment as well as air conditioning but has not further explained its purchase of combustion engine vehicles. USPS has made assurances that vehicle acquisitions delivered in 2026 and beyond will be all electric.
In August last year, USPS received three billion dollars for the procurement of electric delivery vehicles and charging infrastructure from the US Government.
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