USPS starts rollout of electrified distribution centres in Atlanta

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is kicking off its EV mobility campaign in the US state of Georgia. The large-scale electrification and modernisation of the delivery fleet is part of the postal service's 40 billion dollar investment plan. USPS electric vehicles and charging stations will soon number in the thousands.

Image: USPS

The first vehicles now presented at a sorting and delivery centre in South Atlanta, Georgia, are Ford E-Transits. The first charging stations come from Siemens. Preparations have been underway for some time. Last year, USPS ordered 9,250 electric vehicles and 14,000 charging stations from manufacturers Blink Charging, Siemens and Rexel USA. According to the Postal Service, which has the status of an independent authority in the USA, the deployment of electric vehicles will begin in Georgia and then extended to other locations throughout the country over the year. There is literally talk of “hundreds of new S&DCs.”

Electrifying and modernising the Postal Service’s delivery fleet is part of the organisation’s $40 billion investment strategy “to upgrade and improve the USPS processing, transportation, and delivery networks.”

According to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, the improvements his agency needs to make regarding sustainability are integral to the broader modernisation effort. “By transforming our operations and investing in new automation, new technologies and modernised facilities and vehicles, we will achieve significant efficiencies that will lower our costs, reduce our carbon footprint and minimise waste.”

Representatives from the White House also attended the inauguration. The government supports the initiative with 3 billion dollars in congressional funding, approved as part of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). As part of the reorganisation, the USPS wants to create distribution centres to enable faster and more reliable mail and parcel delivery across a larger geographical area. These will also serve as “local hubs to deploy EVs along local carrier routes.” So far, the USPS has opened 29 S&DCs nationwide.

In terms of electric vehicle procurement, the USPS is planning for a total of 21,000 COTS electric vehicles – including 9,250 from Ford. COTS stands for “commercial off-the-shelf,” i.e. standard vehicles from manufacturers’ existing portfolios. In addition, the USPS wants to procure at least 45,000 Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDVs) by 2028, increasing the total number of electric vehicles in the delivery fleet to more than 66,000. The NGDV is specially developed for USPS by Oshkosh Defense, a subsidiary of the Oshkosh Corporation. Production should start this year. The NGVD will be available as a battery-electric version with a range of around 110 kilometres and as a petrol version.

“This represents one of the largest commitments to vehicle electrification in the nation,” the agency states in its press release. “USPS will also continue to explore the feasibility of achieving 100-percent electrification for its delivery vehicle fleet.”


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