U.S. Postal Service to consider a larger number of EVs in its fleet

(Credit: Mick Akers)

The United States Postal Service announced on Wednesday it would soon publish a report to supplement its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) related to its adoption of electric vehicles for its fleet. The Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDV) plan could be revised from previously announced figures, the Postal Service said.

The USPS has committed to a fleet of 10,000 EVs for its NGDV plan, a 100 percent increase from initial figures, which slotted only 5,000 spots out of the 50,000 new vehicles it will order. The USPS is now considering a possible expansion of the planned EV fleet in an attempt to “modernize and aggregate delivery operations will make delivery routes more efficient, which may affect the appropriate mix of vehicles to be procured for the Postal Service’s delivery fleet, including NGDV,” the Postal Service said.

“As I noted when we placed our initial NGDV delivery order, the Postal Service would continue to look for opportunities to further increase the electrification of our fleet in a responsible manner, as we continue to refine our operating strategy and implement the Delivering for America plan,” Postmaster General and CEO Louis DeJoy said at the 2022 National Postal Forum in May. “A modernized network of delivery facilities provides us with such an opportunity. This is the right approach —operationally, financially, and environmentally.”

One of the main goals of the supplemental report will include details regarding USPS facilities, which are “in despair” in many locations. These facilities “have outdated mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems and poor employee amenities, and they cannot accommodate our current mix of mail and packages. The number of locations also requires significant sorting operations at our plants, underutilizes numerous truckloads from plants, and diminishes the efficiency and commercial utility of our mail carrier route structure,” the Postal Service said.

The proposed improvements to the delivery network could bring in a new and more appropriate mix of vehicles procured under the NGDV contract. While the current NGDV plan calls for at least 10 percent of the new fleet to be composed of BEVs, more could be added into the mix as financial resources become more available and the Postal Service refines its vehicle operation strategy and network. A minimum of 10,019 vehicles in the NGDV fleet would be BEVs, equating to more than 20 percent of the order.

The new Notice of Intent, which will supplement the initial EIS, will examine the environmental impacts of the potential changes to the delivery network that could come with modifications to the delivery fleet mix. The USPS also said it plans to explore options that could accelerate the production of the over 10,000 planned next-gen vehicles that will be BEVs.

All NGDVs, including the BEV options, are expected to be working USPS routes in late 2023.

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U.S. Postal Service to consider a larger number of EVs in its fleet
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