USPS plans to increase electric delivery vehicle order

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The US Postal Service (USPS) has announced plans to increase its electric vehicle order as it extends its fleet with purpose-built next-generation delivery vehicles (NGDVs) and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) vehicles. This is a result of network adjustments and attendant economies that will facilitate substantially increased deployment of battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

The adjustments reflect the postal service’s intended refinements to its overall network modernization, route optimizations, improved facility electric infrastructure and availability of vehicles and technology. In total, of the above 84,500 NGDV and COTS vehicles, the postal service anticipates having at least 40% BEV. The postal service has also reiterated its commitment to the fiscally responsible rollout of electric-powered vehicles for the federal fleet. New NGDVs are expected to start servicing postal routes in late 2023.

In February 2022, the postal service completed its obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act process and issued a record of decision to acquire up to 165,000 NGDVs, with a commitment for at least 10% BEV. This decision was expressly designed to provide the postal service the flexibility to acquire more BEV NGDVs, should financial and operational circumstances permit. Pursuant to this decision, the postal service then announced in March 2022 a purchase of 50,000 NGDVs from Oshkosh Defense, including 20% BEVs.

Now, under the adjusted scope for the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS), the Postal Service proposes to limit its decision to the 50,000 NGDVs already purchased and to raise the minimum NGDV BEV percentage to at least 50%. Because of the need to accelerate the replacement of its aging fleet in accordance with the Delivering for America plan, and the purpose and scope of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process, the postal service is also proposing to purchase, over a two-year period, 34,500 COTS vehicles.

Additional purchases of NGDVs under the current contract or other COTS vehicles will be analyzed in future supplements to the EIS prior to such purchases. The postal service anticipates evaluating and procuring 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 BEV options in the future.

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