After Backlash, Post Office Expected to Buy More Electric Trucks

After Backlash, Post Office Expected to Buy More Electric Trucks The backs of two USPS trucks (AP/Nati Harnik, File)

By Jack Gournell | Thursday, 02 June 2022 07:46 PM

The U.S. Postal Service is reconsidering the number of electric vehicles it has following months of criticism after saying the fleet would be only 10% electric.

U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said in a statement from the USPS that the post office will publish a supplement to its environmental impact statement (EIS) to its original truck order, The Hill reported.

"As I noted when we placed our initial NGDV (Next Generation Delivery Vehicles) delivery order, the Postal Service would continue to look for opportunities to further increase the electrification of our fleet in a responsible manner, as we continue to refine our operating strategy and implement the Delivering for America plan," DeJoy said.

"A modernized network of delivery facilities provides us with such an opportunity. This is the right approach — operationally, financially, and environmentally."

No timeline is given for the update, and USPS does not vow to increase the proportion of EVs in the fleet, the Hill noted, but the Postal Service has long defended the order by saying it reserved the option to increase the percentage of electric vehicles.

When DeJoy first announced that only 10% of the 165,000 trucks ordered would be electric with the rest being gas-powered at 8.6 mph, he was criticized by the Environmental Protection Agency, Democrats in Congress, environmental groups and 16 state attorneys general who have sued over the plan.

USPS has the largest vehicle fleet in the federal government, and without its buy-in, President Joe Biden's executive order for all federal operations to be carbon neutral will be impossible, The Hill reported.

DeJoy's office defended the original decision, saying it was based on a "robust and thorough review" that the cost of batteries for the EVs was not financially viable. The AGs' lawsuit claims those figures are based on bad calculations.

DeJoy, a Donald Trump appointee, now faces a more hostile postal board with two more Democrats appointed by Biden.