The United States Postal Service (USPS) announced it will purchase 9,250 Ford E-Transit electric delivery vans.
The agency said in a press release that it awarded a contract to purchase a total of 9,250 Ford E-Transit battery electric vehicles (BEVs) after a competitive search.
Deliveries of the electric vans are expected to start in December 2023, assuming everything goes according to plan. The Ford E-Transit is a domestically sourced vehicle as it is manufactured in Kansas City, Missouri.
As a result, it qualifies for up to $7,500 federal tax credit. The acquisition is part of the 21,000 commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) vehicles included in the Postal Service's vehicle acquisition plan announced in December 2022.
According to the plan, USPS will purchase a 75 percent electric fleet of Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDV) over the next five years. Acquisitions of NGDV after 2026 will be 100 percent electric, with USPS pledging to buy at least 66,000 electric vehicles through 2028.
Along with the Ford vehicle purchase announcement, USPS also said it placed initial orders for more than 14,000 charging stations to be deployed at Postal Service facilities. The agency said it plans to begin building out its charging infrastructure across a minimum of 75 locations within the next 12 months.
Following this first step, USPS said it will continue the infrastructure build out in the succeeding years at many additional facilities as a part of its delivery vehicle electrification strategy.
The BEV and charging stations awards are consistent with the vehicle electrification strategy announced by USPS in December 2022 in the presence of 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 (IRA) funds.
The USPS isn't purchasing only battery electric vehicles, mind you. As part of the earliest stages of the delivery vehicle replacement plan, a contract for 9,250 commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) internal combustion engine vehicles will also be "concurrently awarded to fill the urgent need for vehicles."
The press release does not mention the automaker USPS will buy ICE vehicles from, but according to a Reuters report, it's Stellantis. The contract is reportedly for 2024 model year Ram ProMaster vans, but not the all-electric variant that will be unveiled soon. USPS said the total for the Ford and Stellantis contracts was just over $1 billion.