New mail delivery vehicles are not the sole focus of the USPS’s electrification efforts. In December, the first of 9,250 Ford E-Transit electric vans that the service has ordered will be delivered. Ford adds that the handover should be finished by the end of 2024. The USPS is ordering more than 14,000 charging stations ahead of time for use in its buildings.
By 2028, the US Postal Service expects to have purchased at least 60,000 Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDV), with 75% of those being electric. The purchase of the Ford vans is part of a larger plan to buy 21,000 electric cars that are already made. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has said that this makes it possible for the USPS to quickly put into place a plan that improves mail service and working conditions while cutting costs for the independent agency. Projected spending on vehicles comes to $9.6 billion, with $3 billion coming from the Inflation Reduction Act.
Maybe the expansion of the charging infrastructure will slow down. Within the next year, the USPS plans to roll out charging stations to at least 75 locations; however, future expansion is unknown.
The overall push towards electric vehicles is a radical departure from what was originally envisioned. Officials at the USPS thought that at first, most requests for NGDVs would be for gas-powered cars. The Biden administration fought against this strategy, saying that USPS leadership under DeJoy had disregarded the EPA’s recommendations, refused to hold public hearings, and relied on “biassed” estimates. At first, the military didn’t agree with the government’s plan, but in the end, they gave in and started buying mostly electric vehicles.
The government’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for itself and the country as a whole relies heavily on the transition. The Postal Service has the most vehicles of any federal agency, so when it buys electric vehicles, it will have a bigger impact than it should.