USPS awards contracts for 9,000 battery-electric vehicles

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The United States Postal Service (USPS) has awarded contracts for 9,250 commercially available left-hand drive (LHD) battery-electric vehicles – alongside more than 14,000 charging stations to be deployed at postal service facilities across the US.

After a competitive search, the postal service awarded a contract to purchase a total of 9,250 Ford E-Transit battery-electric vehicles (BEVs). Delivery of the vehicles will commence in December 2023, assuming the successful completion of the supplemental environmental impact statement. These domestically sourced vehicles will be 100% electric and are part of the 21,000 commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) vehicles included in the postal service’s vehicle acquisition plan announced in December 2022. The Ford E-Transit BEVs are manufactured in Kansas City in Missouri.

The contracts are consistent with the postal service’s stated vehicle electrification strategy to deploy more than 66,000 electric vehicles by 2028. Overall, the postal service’s total investment in vehicles is expected to reach US$9.6bn, including US$3bn from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funds. As part of this investment, USPS intends to acquire a 75% electric fleet of next-generation delivery vehicles (NGDV) over the next five years. Acquisitions of NGDV after 2026 will be 100% electric. As part of the earliest stages of the delivery vehicle replacement plan, a contract for 9,250 COTS internal combustion engines will be awarded to fill the urgent need for vehicles. According to the postal service, the specific 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 mission-suitable, as well as other business considerations. The postal service plans to begin building out its charging infrastructure across a minimum of 75 locations within the next 12 months, and thereafter to continue the infrastructure build-out in the succeeding years at additional facilities as a part of its delivery vehicle electrification strategy.

To support the charging for all the newly purchased electric vehicles, the postal service awarded competitive contracts to three suppliers for the purchase of more than 14,000 charging stations to establish an initial and ongoing electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) inventory. This EVSE inventory is the charging station hardware and software needed to support EV charging at the facilities from which the delivery vehicles will operate. The postal service anticipates that this commitment of funds by 2028 for both vehicles and charging infrastructure will result in a total of 66,230 electric delivery vehicles and an overall acquisition of 106,000 delivery vehicles. All awards in this initiative are contingent on the postal service’s satisfactory completion of National Environmental Policy Act requirements.

Louis DeJoy, the US Postmaster General, said, “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. We have developed a strategy that mitigates both cost and risk of deployment – which enables the execution of 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 a genuine understanding that our movement toward electrification must be thoughtful and deliberate, appropriately manage risk and [be]consistent with our primary delivery mission for the American people.”

Read more key vehicle/fleet updates from the parcel and postal technology industry, here.

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