By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has announced an historic, $9.6 billion investment over the next five years to electrify its delivery fleet.
The USPS investment includes electrifying 75% of its new purpose-built Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDV) and a commitment to acquire 100% electric NGDVs starting in 2026.
With the announcement, federal officials said the USPS “demonstrates how it is leading by example for the Federal Government in achieving President Biden’s charge to electrify the U.S. Government’s 650,000 vehicles.”
The $9.6 billion investment – which includes $3 billion in funding from the Inflation Reduction Act – installs modern charging infrastructure at hundreds of USPS facilities, electrifies 66,000 delivery vehicles, “and modernizes mail delivery by creating a smarter network to more efficiently reach its 163 million delivery locations across the country and further strengthen the sustainability of this critical public service,” White House officials said.
Earlier this year, President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act to help bring down everyday costs – including costs for energy.
Administration officials said the Inflation Reduction Act’s once-in-a-generation investment in America’s infrastructure “delivers the most significant action ever to tackle the climate crisis and strengthen U.S. energy security, including $3 billion to modernize the USPS delivery fleet.”
The new announcement sustains “reliable mail service to Americans while modernizing the fleet, reducing operating costs, increasing clean air in our neighborhoods, creating jobs, and improving public health,” officials noted in a news release.
Biden’s ambitious goal for 50% of new vehicles sold in 2030 to be electric has accelerated investments and jumpstarted the EV market in America, officials said.
Since Biden took office, U.S. electric vehicle sales reportedly have tripled and are now higher than ever before.
One year ago, through the president’s Executive Order on Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability, the Biden-Harris Administration released the most ambitious sustainability plan ever, establishing a goal for 100% acquisition of zero emission light-duty vehicles by 2027 and medium- and heavy-duty vehicles by 2035.
Now, the USPS said it would exceed Biden’s requirement for each agency to electrify its federal fleet.
Over the next five years, the Postal Service will purchase 45,000 specialized USPS NGDV electric vehicles and 21,000 commercial off-the-shelf electric vehicles.
“We commend the U.S. Postal Service,” John Podesta, Senior Advisor to the President, said in a news release.
“The USPS plan leverages the $3 billion provided by the Inflation Reduction Act to hit the target of 100% electric delivery vehicle purchases in 2026, sets the postal fleet on a course for electrification, significantly reduces vehicles miles traveled in the network, and places USPS at the forefront of the clean transportation revolution.”
The U.S. government operates the largest vehicle fleet in the world, and USPS is the largest vehicle fleet in the Federal government.
Through the administration’s action, the White House said USPS sets the bar for the rest of the Federal government, and, importantly, the rest of the world.
In the plan, the USPS invests the full $3 billion in Inflation Reduction Act funds to increase ambition and pace in electrifying its fleet, including $1.3 billion for electric delivery vehicles and $1.7 billion for charging infrastructure.
Coupled with $6.6 billion in USPS funds, the overall $9.6 billion, 100,000-vehicle modernization plan results in 66,000 electric delivery vehicles and tens of thousands of charging stations through 2028, and a target of acquiring only electric delivery vehicles after 2026.
“The U.S. Postal Service plan sets the pace for other leading public and private sector fleets. It is clear that the future of transportation is electric – and that future is here,” said Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory.
“As electric mail trucks hit routes across the country, neighborhoods will see cleaner air, better health, and good-paying clean energy jobs.”
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,” said the President’s National Climate Adviser Ali Zaidi.
“This is the Biden climate strategy on wheels, and the U.S. Postal Service delivering for the American people,” Zaidi added.