The United States Postal Service announced today that it would increase the concentration of battery electric vehicles that would make up the 165,000 new vehicles it plans to purchase as a part of its plan to modernize the mail fleet. Previous projections placed the USPS’s order concentration of BEVs at just 20 percent of the 165,000 new vehicles, but this has now been adjusted to “at least 50 percent.”
“The adjustments reflect refinements to the Postal Service’s overall network modernization, route optimizations, improved facility electric infrastructure, and availability of vehicles and technology,” the USPS said in its press release.
In February, the USPS said it would order 165,000 Next Generation Delivery vehicles, which it refers to as NGDVs. It is also purchasing commercial-off-the-shelf, or COTS, vehicles to “supplement the current purpose-built NGDV order.” The agency announced that it would eventually achieve a BEV concentration of 70 percent. In March, this figure changed as the Postal Service announced it would purchase 50,000 NGDVs from Oshkosh Defense, working toward a 20 percent concentration of BEVs in the fleet.
However, the USPS is once again increasing the number of BEVs in its future fleet to “at least” 50 percent, it said:
“Now, under the new adjusted scope for the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS), the Postal Service proposes to limit its Decision to the 50,000 NGDV already purchased and to raise the minimum NGDV BEV percentage to at least 50 percent. Because of the critical and immediate need to accelerate the replacement of our aging fleet in accordance with the Delivering for America plan, and the purpose and scope of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process, the Postal Service is also proposing to purchase, over a 2-year period, 34,500 COTS vehicles. Additional purchases of NGDVs under the current contract or other COTS vehicles will be analyzed in future supplements to the EIS prior to such purchases. The Postal Service anticipates evaluating and procuring vehicles over shorter time periods to be more responsive to its evolving operational strategy, technology improvements, and changing market conditions, including the expected increased availability of BEV options in the future.”
Under the current SEIS contract, the minimum concentration will be 50 percent. However, the 84,500 NGDV and COTS vehicles will be 40 percent BEVs. “The Postal Service reiterates its commitment to the fiscally responsible roll-out of electric-powered vehicles for America’s largest and oldest federal fleet. New NGDVs are expected to start servicing postal routes in late 2023.”
The Postal Service says NGDVs are expected to start delivering mail on some postal routes late next year.
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