Delivery of USPS electric delivery vehicles delayed to June 2024
By Linn’s Staff
The United States Postal Service announced in a May 1 court filing that it plans to begin receiving its Next Generation electric delivery vehicles in June 2024, nine months behind schedule.
In March 2022, the Postal Service initially placed a $2.98 billion order for 50,000 Next Generation vehicles that would be built by Oshkosh Defense at a plant it is opening in South Carolina.
The Inflation Reduction Act, which President Joe Biden signed Aug. 16, 2022, authorizes a $3 billion federal payment to the USPS for the purchase of zero-emission delivery vehicles and charging infrastructure.
According to the White House, $1.7 billion of the payment would be used for charging stations. In February, the Postal Service said it would purchase 14,000 charging stations.
On Dec. 20, 2022, the USPS said it would boost its purchase of electric mail delivery trucks to a minimum of 75 percent of its long-awaited Next Generation vehicles.
The decision came after pressure from the Biden administration and Democrats in the House of Representatives who wanted the USPS truck purchase to presage the federal government’s commitment to move away from gasoline-powered vehicles.
The new truck plan calls for increasing the number of Next Generation trucks to a minimum of 60,000, at least 45,000 of which will be electric powered by 2028.
All of the Next Generation trucks to be delivered in 2026 and afterward are to be electric, the USPS said.
The Postal Service also said it expects to purchase an additional 21,000 electric vehicles through 2028. Some of those will be commercial off-the-shelf vehicles.
The agency also promised that it will continue to explore making 100 percent of its truck fleet electric.
In response to a query from Linn’s Stamp News, Postal Service spokesman David Partenheimer provided the following statement from the USPS:
“The Postal Service’s fleet modernization is a core component of our Delivering for America Plan. From the start, we committed to purchase the most environmentally sustainable vehicles across our entire fleet consistent with financial and operational considerations, with the understanding that both the electrification and delivery schedule for our fleet could change with additional vehicle acquisitions, our improving financial condition, and our evolving operational strategy.
“In December 2022, we announced plans to acquire 106,000 new vehicles, including at least 66,000 battery electric delivery vehicles. This includes 45,000 battery electric Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDVs) and another 21,000 battery electric vehicles that we expect to be commercial off-the-shelf vehicles (COTS). In February 2023, we placed our first order for 9,250 electric COTS vehicles and 9,250 internal combustion COTS vehicles, contingent on the completion of our forthcoming Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, as well as over 14,000 electric vehicle charging stations. The 9,250 electric COTS vehicles are expected to begin deployment in December 2023.
“The Postal Service will continue to evaluate and procure vehicles over shorter time periods to be more responsive to our evolving operational strategy, technology improvements and changing market conditions, including the expected increased availability of battery electric vehicle options in the future. We remain committed to keeping all stakeholders informed as we update and electrify the nation’s largest and oldest federal fleet.”
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