USPS plans to increase purchase of electric delivery vehicles

A US Postal Service (USPS) logo is pictured on a mailbox in the Manhattan borough of New York, New York, U.S., August 21, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

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June 1 (Reuters) – The United States Postal Service (USPS) said on Wednesday it was looking to increase the number of electric delivery vehicles it plans to buy as it upgrades its network for a new delivery plan.

The USPS currently plans to buy at least 10% electric vehicles, including 10,019 of an initial $2.98 billion order of 50,000 from Oshkosh Defense (OSK.N). The Postal Service said it was exploring options to ramp up production of the initial 10,019 BEVs near the start of the line and “plans to leverage the flexibility built into the contract with Oshkosh to increase the number of BEVs purchased in the right initial delivery”.

The new delivery strategy includes placing large carrier operations in unused mail processing plants and “significantly improving transportation efficiency by eliminating unnecessary trips, reducing mail runs, increasing reliability and reducing shipping times,” the USPS said.

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USPS told Reuters it plans to complete its environmental impact statement (EIS) related to its next-generation delivery vehicle plan.

In April, 16 states, four environmental groups and the United Auto Workers filed lawsuits seeking to block the USPS’ plan to buy mostly gas-powered next-generation delivery vehicles, arguing the agency failed to comply. environmental regulations when it published its EIS.

The White House and Environmental Protection Agency have also previously asked the USPS to reconsider, as have many Democrats in Congress.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said in a statement Wednesday that the USPS’ upcoming plan to “modernize and consolidate delivery operations will make delivery routes more efficient” and could lead to increased purchases of electric vehicles.

DeJoy noted that the USPS said it “will continue to seek opportunities to further increase the electrification of our fleet in a responsible manner… A modernized network of delivery facilities provides us with such an opportunity. That is the right approach – operationally, financially, and environmentally.”

DeJoy told Reuters in April that the USPS expects to receive about 5,000 next-generation vehicles in 2023 — and about 21,000 a year thereafter.

DeJoy called the initial order for 50,000 vehicles a “slam dunk,” given the USPS’s urgent need for vehicles: “I have people who have dangerous trucks.”

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Reporting by David Shepardson; edited by Jonathan Oatis, Bernard Orr

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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