The Postal Service announced Dec. 20 that it expects to acquire at least 66,000 battery electric delivery vehicles as part of its 106,000-vehicle acquisition plan between now and 2028.
The vehicles purchased as part of this plan will begin to replace the Postal Service’s aging delivery fleet of more than 220,000 vehicles.
USPS anticipates at least 60,000 next-generation delivery vehicles, of which at least 75 percent — or 45,000 vehicles — will be battery electric.
As part of this plan, a total of 21,000 additional commercial off-the-shelf vehicles are also expected to be battery electric, depending on market availability and operational feasibility.
The Postal Service also anticipates including internal combustion engine vehicles necessary to meet immediate vehicle replacement needs.
The total investment is expected to reach $9.6 billion, including $3 billion from Inflation Reduction Act funds.
In keeping with the organization’s priority to provide its mail carriers and communities with safer, more efficient vehicles as soon as possible, these vehicles, unlike the ones they are replacing, will feature air conditioning and advanced safety technology and are more suited to modern-day operational requirements.
For any commercial off-the-shelf vehicles purchased, USPS will include a preference for domestic manufacturing.
The Dec. 20 announcement was enabled by the Postal Service’s overall network modernization efforts, which allow for a more rapid deployment of electric vehicles, and its improving financial condition, which includes $3 billion in funding appropriated under the Inflation Reduction Act.
USPS will continue to evaluate and procure vehicles over shorter time periods to be more responsive to its evolving operational strategy, technology improvements and changing market conditions, including the expected increased availability of battery electric vehicle options in the future.
“We have a statutory requirement to deliver mail and packages to 163 million addresses, six days per week, and to cover our costs in doing so — that is our mission. As I have said in the past, if we can achieve those objectives in a more environmentally responsible way, we will do so,” said Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.
John Podesta, senior advisor to President Joe Biden, praised USPS.
“We commend the U.S. Postal Service,” Podesta said. “The USPS plan leverages the $3 billion provided by the Inflation Reduction Act to hit the target of 100 percent 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.”