WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Biden Administration announced that the United States Postal Service (USPS) will transition their vehicle fleet to be predominately comprised of electrically-powered models over the course of the next five years at a cost of $9.6 billion.
The funds to make this huge change will be comprised of the USPS’ own budget, as well as an additional $3 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act, which has over $430 billion earmarked for “green” energy initiatives.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said that the move to electric vehicles (EVs) is to help increase efficiency and reduce the USPS’ carbon footprint.
“A key focus of our modernization effort is to reduce inefficient transportation and improve distribution operations, resulting in far less air cargo and far fewer truck trips,” he said. “When combined with our substantial commitment to the electrification of our delivery vehicles, the Postal Service will be at the forefront of our nation’s green initiatives.”
The Biden Admin confirmed that the move would supply the USPS with 66,000 EVs for mail delivery purposes – which would replace approximately 75 percent of the agency’s current gas-powered fleet – as well as the installation of charging stations at post offices around the country.
Some may question the pricey expenditure since the self-funded USPS has been experiencing excessive financial difficulties in recent years due to a mandate that required them to pre-fund retiree health benefits to the tune of $5 billion a year. However, the recently-passed USPS Fairness Act has removed that requirement, which will now enable USPS employees to enroll in Medicare upon retirement, a move that will save the Postal Service more than $50 billion over the next 10 years.
That savings, combined with funding from the federal government, has enabled the USPS to be able to afford the green upgrade to their vehicles, DeJoy said
“The $3 billion provided by Congress has significantly reduced the risk associated with accelerating the implementation of a nationwide infrastructure necessary to electrify our delivery fleet,” he said. “While most of the electric vehicle funding will continue to come from Postal Service revenues, we are grateful for the confidence that Congress and the administration have placed in us to build and acquire what has the potential to become the largest electric vehicle fleet in the nation.”