Moving forward

The Postal Service has awarded contracts for 9,250 left-hand drive battery electric vehicles, as well as orders for more than 14,000 charging stations to be deployed at USPS facilities.

These awards are part of the vehicle electrification strategy that was announced in December by USPS leaders and senior White House officials.

Overall, the Postal Service’s total investment in vehicles is expected to reach $9.6 billion, including $3 billion from Inflation Reduction Act funds.

Under the plan announced in December, USPS intends to acquire a next-generation delivery vehicle fleet during the next few years that is 75 percent electric. After 2026, 100 percent of next-generation delivery vehicle acquisitions will be electric.

As part of the earliest stages of the delivery vehicle replacement plan, a contract for 9,250 commercial-off-the-shelf internal combustion engine vehicles will be awarded to fill an urgent need.

These vehicles, awarded under a competitive contract, will be Ford E-Transit battery electric vehicles. Delivery of the vehicles is intended to begin in December, assuming successful completion of a supplemental environmental impact statement that USPS announced last year.

The locations for deployment of the vehicles and infrastructure have not yet been finalized and will depend on route characteristics, including whether a left-hand drive vehicle is suitable, as well as other business considerations.

The Postal Service plans to begin building its charging stations in at least 75 locations within the next 12 months. Charging stations will then be built at additional locations as part of the vehicle electrification strategy.

“We are moving forward with our plans to simultaneously improve our service, reduce our cost, grow our revenue and improve the working environment for our employees. Electrification of our vehicle fleet is now an important component of these initiatives,” said Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

“We have developed a strategy that mitigates both cost and risk of deployment — which enables execution on this initiative to begin now. I again want to thank the administration officials and members of Congress who have assisted us in this initiative. Each has shown genuine understanding that our movement toward electrification must be thoughtful and deliberate, must appropriately manage risk and must be consistent with our primary delivery mission for the American people.”

The Postal Service’s Feb. 28 news release has additional information.

Escape plan

The Postal Service is reminding employees that their USPS-issued smartphones will be placed in quarantine if they don’t keep the operating system up to date.

Outdated operating systems pose a security risk that exposes smartphones and the postal network to hackers and other malicious actors.

Employees must keep their USPS-issued smartphones current with the latest operating systems.

The organization will place iPhones missing current or prior updates in quarantine in order to protect the postal network.

Similarly, “jailbroken” iPhones or “rooted” Android phones — devices that have had a manufacturer’s software restrictions intentionally removed by the user — will also be quarantined.

An iPhone will also be retired and put out of service if it has not been connected to a mobile management software console for more than 30 days.

Android smartphones are not at risk of being quarantined.

Before a phone is quarantined, the employee will receive 15- and 30-day notifications in their USPS email accounts explaining that their phone’s operating system is no longer compliant.

The user will also receive a text pop-up on the mobile device after 30 days of not being in compliance.

To remove a smartphone from quarantine, users will have to connect their device to a MobileIron MDM console. Once connected, a compliance check will run every eight hours to check for software updates.

Once updates have been installed, the device will be removed from quarantine.

Women’s History Month

The Postal Service will observe Women’s History Month in March.

The commemoration was first observed nationally as “Women’s History Week” in March 1980.

The designated week was chosen to coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8, a global event that has been observed since 1911. In 1987, Congress designated all of March as Women’s History Month.

A group now known as the National Women’s History Alliance, which helped lobby for the first observance, picks a theme each year; in 2023, it’s “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.”

One such woman is Toni Morrison, a giant of modern literature who will be honored with a stamp this month. Morrison explored the devastating effects of racism in such classics as “Song of Solomon,” winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, and “Beloved,” which received the Pulitzer Prize.

She won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.

Louisa May Alcott, Willa Cather, Pearl S. Buck, Nella Larsen, Maya Angelou, Anne Spencer and Ursula K. Le Guin are just a few of the other “women who tell stories” who have been honored with stamps in the past.

The Postal History section on has more information on women in postal history, including articles on female postmasters and mail carriers.

More information on Women’s History Month can be found at and the National Women’s History Museum website.