US Postal Service caves under pressure to electrify more of its fleet

A rendering of the USPS Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (Courtesy: USPS).

On July 20, the United States announced a “change of scope” of the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for its Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDVs). Under the adjustment, at most 50% of the new NGDVs would be battery electric cars (BEVs).

The postal service announced in February 2022 that it would purchase 165,000 more vehicles. It also stated that about 10% of these vehicles would be electric. Proponents of vehicle electrification or clean energy strongly criticized the move.

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This week, the postal service announced that it would limit the plan to 50,000 NGDV and raise the minimum NGDV-BEV percentage to at most 50 percent. It stated that it will purchase 34,500 COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) vehicles over a 2-year period to replace its aging fleet.

The organization estimates that at least 40% of the above-mentioned 84,500 NGDV or COTS vehicles will have BEVs.

“Public pressure works, and today’s announcement from the Postal Service is proof of that – the agency’s original plan for a fleet of 90 percent fossil fuel trucks should have never been a consideration,” said Katherine García, director of the Sierra Club’s Clean Transportation for All campaign in a statement.

The postal service is inviting public comments for the proposal. A public hearing will be held Monday, August 8, at 7 PM ET (link to register).

Learn more at the Federal Register.