US Postal Service could get $6bn to electrify fleet

As part of President Biden’s proposed $1.75 trillion Federal funding package the US Postal Service would receive $6 billion to buy 165,000 electric last mile vans. 

The Next Generation Delivery Vans (NGDVs) are hybrid-electric and would be built by Oshkosh Defense that won a procurement competition to build the vehicles last February.

The NGDVs would begin operations in 2023, replacing the fleet of Long Life Vehicles that are fuel inefficient (achieving just 8.2mpg) and have been in operation in some cases since 1987.

“If we’re serious about tackling emissions in the transportation sector, which is now the largest emitting sector, you have to electrify vehicles and you’ve got to do these large vehicle fleets,” Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif), who has pushed for postal fleet electrification for years, said in an interview. “This is just the supercharging of that transition.”

Shortly after taking office, President Biden signed an executive order calling for the federal government’s 645,000 civilian vehicles to be replaced with electric. The US Postal Service’s fleet is the largest component of this with 231,000 vehicles.

However, the Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said that due to the postal operator’s very poor financial position they could only make 10% of their fleet electric without funding from Congress. This funding could well come in if Congress approves it – horse trading is taking place among politicians and things are by no means guaranteed.

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