Officials said Thursday that one in five of the first batch of next-generation US Postal Service delivery vehicles will be electric.
The Postal Service formally placed its initial $2.98 billion (about Rs 22702.5638 crore) order for 50,000 vehicles, of which at least 10,019 are battery-electric vehicles. This represents a doubling of electric vehicles from the initial plan. The first of the new vehicles are expected to be on delivery routes by the end of next year.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said the Postal Service has made good on its pledge to accelerate the purchase of electric vehicles based on a financial outlook and strategic considerations.
“Today’s order demonstrates, as we have always said, that the Postal Service is fully committed to including electric vehicles as a significant part of our delivery fleet,” even though they are more likely to be used than internal combustion vehicles. represent costly investments, he said.
US Representative Carolyn Maloney, chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, said she appreciates a large share of electric vehicles. But it’s still not enough, she said.
“The Postal Service must prioritize the acquisition of electric vehicles or it will be stuck with outdated technology that further pollutes our environment for decades,” said New York’s Diocese of Maloney.
The Postal Service is in the process of replacing the ubiquitous delivery trucks that came into service between 1987 and 1994.
All told, the Postal Service’s fleet includes 190,000 local delivery vehicles. Of these, over 141,000 are older models that lack safety features like air bags, anti-lock brakes and backup cameras.
Newer vehicles are taller, making it easier for postal carriers to grab packages and parcels that make up the bulk of the volume. They have also improved ergonomics and climate control.
Switching the entire Postal Service fleet to electric vehicles will cost an additional $3.3 billion (approximately Rs 25147.98 crore). Money for that was included in Biden’s Build Back Better plan that stalled in Congress.