Last month, U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy told lawmakers it would take an extra $3-4 billion to make the postal fleet 90 percent electric. Well, the United States Postal Service might get that.
According to Reuters, 17 House Democrats are introducing legislation that would give USPS $6 billion to purchase between 50,000 and 165,000 vehicles over the next 10 years. As a requirement, 75 percent of the fleet needs to be made of electric or zero-emission vehicles. The bill also requires that at least 50 percent of medium and heavy-duty vehicle purchases be electric or zero-emission through 2029 and after January 2040, all USPS vehicle purchases must be electric or zero-emission.
USPS awarded a $482 million contract to Oshkosh Defense last month to help develop and produce the next generation of postal vehicles. However, that deal would only make 10 percent of the fleet electric.
Gallery: Oshkosh Defense US Postal Service Delivery Truck
The federal agency passed on the proposal from electric automaker Workhorse Group, which met with the Postal Service last week to question their decision. Workhorse said the company applauds “any efforts that support the Biden administration’s goal of expanding the government’s fleet of clean, non-combustion engine vehicles for the benefit of American taxpayers and the environment."
With Democrats in control of the House and Senate, the bill has a chance of being passed. In addition, President Biden said in January that he would replace the government’s fleet of roughly 650,000 vehicles with EVs.
It’s nice to see the federal government stepping in to supply the extra funding needed for a larger percentage of the postal fleet to become electric. It’s hard to imagine that only 10 percent of the next generation of postal vehicles would be electric while the rest of the automotive industry has a much higher EV goal. In his defense, DeJoy did say that he wanted the next generation of postal vehicles to have the ability to be converted to electric in the future. Now that USPS might get $6 billion, they should definitely start with EVs rather than converting ICE vehicles in the future.