The United States Postal Service said that it will add 66,000 fully electric delivery vehicles to its aging and polluting fleet of trucks. The mail agency agreed to spend $9.6 billion on 106,000 “next generation delivery vehicles,” which includes $3 billion secured through the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act. After 2026, USPS will only purchase EVs.
It’s a significant shift from the USPS’s previous proposal, which included only 40 percent EVs out of a full order of 84,000 delivery vehicles. And that deal came after an even less climate-friendly one that would have only seen 10,019 EVs being added to the fleet. But the constant pushback from Democrats and the Biden administration, which is requiring all federal vehicle purchases to be emissions-free by 2035, finally resulted in a significant change in policy from USPS.
White House Senior Advisor John Podesta believes the plan will result in a USPS fleet that is fully electric. It also “significantly reduces vehicles miles traveled in the network, and places USPS at the forefront of the clean transportation revolution,” Podesta stated in a White House press release. The mail service still has to replace its current 217,000-plus fleet of trucks, many of which are over 30 years old and don’t have safety features like airbags or air conditioning, amongst other things.
The $3 billion will also go toward building the USPS’s EV charging infrastructure, which includes “tens of thousands” charging stations, creating a smarter network that will help make deliveries more efficient. “Moving packages from point A to point B in a way that’s cleaner, more cost-effective, and accelerating toward an electric vehicle future stamped ‘Made in America’ — this is the Biden climate strategy on wheels,” National Climate Advisor to the president Ali Zaidi stated.
The USPS is primarily looking to get its fleet from defense contractor Oshkosh, which will provide 60,000 vehicles, with 45,000 of them being electric. But the mail agency will also look to other automakers for another 46,000 vans, with 21,000 of those being EVs.
Podesta told The Washington Post he believes it will pressure other shipping and delivery companies “to up their game, too.” Some companies like FedEx have already reserved 2,500 electric delivery vans from GM-backed BrightDrop, and Amazon ordered 100,000 Rivian EVs to be on the road by 2030.