The United States Postal Service (USPS) said it has updated its plan to upgrade its delivery vehicle fleet to double the number of electric vehicles under the order.
However, the USPS decided to purchase unfortunately still mostly inefficient gasoline trucks as part of the 50,000 vehicle fleet refresh.
Last year, the USPS placed an order for 50,000 vehicles with Oshkosh Defense under its Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV) program to update its aging fleet of delivery vehicles.
The Postal Service was expected to upgrade its fleet with electric vehicles, which would significantly improve its fleet efficiency and reduce operating costs.
Yet Louis DeJoy, the US postmaster appointed by the Trump administration, announced that only 10% of the 50,000 new vehicles under the NGDV contract would be electric.
DeJoy has been a controversial appointee for many reasons. He is the first postmaster in decades to have no USPS experience. As soon as he was appointed, he began to trash the postal service, when he and his wife allegedly investments of up to $70 million in companies competing with USPS. And before being postmaster, he had a troubled past in business and political fundraising.
His decision to update the fleet with mostly gas-powered vehicles drew a lot of criticism. Not only is it not future-proof as the transportation industry goes electric, but the new gas-powered vehicles selected are only marginally more efficient than the 1988 vehicles the USPS currently uses (8, 6 mpg with AC/ 14.7 mpg without AC versus 8.2 mpg currently).
Last month DeJoy’s USPS responded to criticism with a greenwashing approach that left little hope that they would change course and go electric with the NGDV fleet update.
This week, the USPS released an updated plan for updating the NGDV fleet following pressure from the new administration and the public, and while it includes more electric vehicles, the Postal Service sticks to the purchase of gas-powered cars from Oshkosh Defence. .
The order will now include 10,000 electric vehicles instead of 5,000:
The Postal Service announced today that it has placed its first Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV) delivery order with Oshkosh, WI-based Oshkosh Defense at a cost of $2.98 billion. The first order is for 50,000 vehicles, including a minimum of 10,019 battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
The Postal Service noted that it “will increase the BEV mix if additional funds become available from internal or other sources, and if the BEV use case continues to improve.”
However, the comment contradicts a recent report from the Office of the Inspector General which shows that 99% of USPS routes could already be served by electric vehicles and that electric vehicles are much cheaper in the long run.
Of course, the cost and use case of electric vehicles changes depending on the specific vehicle, and one still wonders why DeJoy’s USPS decided to go with Oshkosh.
Last year, government officials have asked the SEC to investigate suspicious trading activity in Oshkosh stock just before the USPS announced the controversial contract.
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