Date: Tuesday, December 27, 2022
Source: Sourcing Journal
The United States Postal Service (USPS) announced this week that it expects to acquire at least 66,000 battery electric delivery vehicles as part of its 106,000-vehicle acquisition plan for deliveries between now and 2028.
The vehicles purchased as part of this anticipated plan will begin to replace the Postal Service’s aging delivery fleet of over 220,000 vehicles. USPS anticipates at least 60,000 Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDV), of which at least 75 percent, or 45,000, will have electric batteries.
As part of this plan, a total of 21,000 additional commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) vehicles are also expected to run on electric batteries, depending on market availability and operational feasibility. The Postal Service also anticipates including internal combustion vehicles necessary to meet immediate vehicle replacement needs.
In keeping with the Postal Service’s priority to provide its carriers and communities with safer, more efficient vehicles as soon as possible, these vehicles will, unlike the vehicles they are replacing, feature air conditioning and advanced safety technology and are more suited to modern day operational requirements. For any COTS vehicles purchased, the Postal Service will include a preference for domestic manufacturing.
The announcement was enabled by USPS’s overall network modernization efforts that allows for a more rapid deployment of EVs, and its improving financial condition, which includes $3 billion in congressional funding appropriated under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
USPS will continue to evaluate and procure 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.
“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,” Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said. “As I have said in the past, if we can achieve those objectives in a more environmentally responsible way, we will do so. 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.”
He said the $3 billion provided by Congress has significantly reduced the risk associated with accelerating the implementation of a nationwide infrastructure necessary to electrify the USPS 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,” DeJoy said. “What is less widely understood is that our network modernization initiative is necessary to enable this vehicle electrification and will also provide meaningful cost and carbon reductions in other ways. A key focus of our modernization effort is to reduce inefficient transportation and improve distribution operations, resulting in far less air cargo and far fewer truck trips.”
New NGDVs are expected to start servicing postal routes in late 2023.