The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) rolled out initial plans to submit its first order of electric delivery vehicles. Over the weekend, the USPS announced its proposal to order 5,000 electric-powered vehicles to begin its Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV) program. It also discussed the possibility of achieving 70% fleet electrification within the next 10 years.
This follows backlash from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week on its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on electrifying its fleet. The EPA called the EIS, which explained why a 10% EV purchasing plan was the best option, “seriously deficient.”
Postmaster General and USPS Chief Executive Officer Louis DeJoy released a statement saying the Postal Service would be open to increase the number of electric vehicle (EV) purchases, “should additional funding become available.” The USPS does not receive government funding.
DeJoy went on to say, “absent such funding, we must make fiscally responsible decisions that result in the needed introduction of safer and environmentally cleaner vehicles for the men and women who deliver America’s mail.”
The Postal Service responded to the EPA’s criticism over its decision to secure a contract for NGDVs with Oshkosh prior to releasing an EIS, which is required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). In a press release, the USPS said it consulted with several federal agencies in preparing its EIS and it believes it has fully satisfied the requirements of the NEPA law.
In its letter to the USPS last week, the EPA compared the Postal Service’s electrification plans to other delivery services’ commitments. DeJoy responded, saying, “comparisons of the Postal Service to private sector multi-national corporations that report yearly profits in the billions of dollars, and that are not required to go to 161 million delivery addresses in all climates and topographies six days per-week, are not relevant in view of our perilous financial condition and universal service mission.” DeJoy said the Postal Service will be “resolute” in deciding what is achievable given its financial abilities, in an effort to deliver safer, cleaner vehicles by next year.
The vehicles will be built by Oshkosh. In its announcement about the contract last year, the USPS said the NGDV could either be equipped with fuel-efficient internal combustion engines, or battery electric powertrains.
Originally posted on Government Fleet