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USPS Boosts Electric Vehicles in New Delivery Fleet to 50%


Tuesday, July 26, 2022   

The U.S. Postal Service is buying nearly 85,000 new vehicles, and estimates about 40% of them will be electric vehicles.

That includes 50,000 new delivery trucks, about half of which will be electric. Groups that advocate for E.V. adoption say it's a big step in the right direction, but think the percentage should be even higher.

David Gebert, president of the Tucson Electric Vehicle Association, said many folks cite the environmental benefits, such as air-quality improvements.

He noted that mail trucks do a lot of starting and stopping, and spend a lot of time parked - and points out that EVs are well-equipped for that.

"It's quieter, it's smoother, it's ultimately safer," said Gebert. "The maintenance doesn't necessarily go up as time goes on, as it does in old internal combustion engines - the motor will be just as peppy in 10 years as it is now."

Under the original USPS plan, only 10% of the vehicles were going to be electric, but they increased it after facing pressure - including a lawsuit from 16 states, the District of Columbia and national environmental groups.

The USPS Office of the Inspector General has found only about 1.5% of postal routes would be poorly suited to E.V. deployment because they're longer than 70 miles.

Gebert added that in Arizona in particular, having electric delivery trucks should make a big difference for mail carriers themselves, in addition to the community.

"In the hotter climes, the vehicle doesn't add to the heat, and so there's not a whole bunch of heat swirling around the postman as he goes down the block," said Gebert. "Because there isn't that waste heat that's driven out by by a combustion engine, it's just a motor that's running electric."

The new trucks will be put into use in late 2023. And the Postal Service is extending the public comment period on them until August 15.

Groups hope this purchase will contribute to the Biden administration's goal of electrifying the entire government fleet by 2035.

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