US Postal Service plans to deploy 66,000 electric vehicles

The United States Postal Service has announced that it intends to deploy more than 66,000 electric vehicles by 2028.

The vehicles form part of its 106,000-vehicle acquisition plan for deliveries between now and 2028 and will begin to replace the Postal Service’s aging delivery fleet of over 220,000 vehicles.

Network modernisation

The move is enabled by the Postal Service’s overall Delivering for America network modernisation efforts which allows for a more rapid deployment of EVs, and its improving financial condition, which includes $3bn in congressional funding appropriated under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

The Postal Service anticipates acquiring least 60,000 next generation delivery vehicles (NGDV), of which at least 75 per cent (45,000) will be battery electric while an additional 21,000 commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) vehicles are also expected to be battery electric, depending on market availability and operational feasibility.

The Postal Service said it will include internal combustion vehicles necessary to meet immediate vehicle replacement needs.

The Postal Service 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 battery electric vehicle (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,” said postmaster general Louis DeJoy. “As I have said in the past, if we can achieve those objectives in a more environmentally responsible way, we will do so.”

“The $3bn provided by Congress has significantly reduced the risk associated with accelerating the implementation of a nationwide infrastructure necessary to electrify our 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.”

“What is less widely understood is that our network modernisation 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 modernisation effort is to reduce inefficient transportation and improve distribution operations, resulting in far less air cargo and far fewer truck trips.

“When combined with our substantial commitment to the electrification of our delivery vehicles, the Postal Service will be at the forefront of our nation’s green initiatives.”