The Postal Service is vowing to transition to an all-electric delivery fleet


Mail delivery cars are parked outside a post office in Boisetown, Neb. , on August 18, 2020. The Postal Service said on Tuesday that it will significantly increase the number of electric delivery trucks in its fleet and go all-electric. New purchases starting in 2026.

Natty Harnick/AP


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Natty Harnick/AP


Mail delivery cars are parked outside a post office in Boisetown, Neb. , on August 18, 2020. The Postal Service said on Tuesday that it will significantly increase the number of electric delivery trucks in its fleet and go all-electric. New purchases starting in 2026.

Natty Harnick/AP

WASHINGTON — In a big boost to President Joe Biden’s pledge to eliminate gas-powered vehicles from the sprawling federal fleet, the Postal Service said Tuesday it will sharply increase the number of electric-powered delivery trucks — and go entirely electric for new purchases starting in 2026.

The post office said it is spending nearly $10 billion to electrify its aging fleet, including installing modern charging infrastructure at hundreds of postal facilities across the country and purchasing at least 66,000 electric delivery trucks in the next five years. The spending includes $3 billion in funding approved under the landmark climate and health policy Congress passed last year.

The White House hailed the ad as a way to maintain a reliable Postal Service for Americans while modernizing the fleet, lowering operating costs and increasing cleaner air in neighborhoods across the country.

“This is Biden’s climate strategy on wheels, and the US Postal Service delivers to the American people,” said White House climate adviser Ali Zaidi.

John Podesta, a senior White House adviser, added that the new plan “puts the Postal fleet on the path to electrification, dramatically reduces network miles, and puts the USPS at the forefront of the clean transportation revolution.”

The United States government operates the largest automobile fleet in the world, and the Postal Service is the largest fleet in the federal government with more than 220,000 vehicles, one-third of the total US fleet. The USPS announcement, the White House said, “sets the bar for the rest of the federal government and, most importantly, the rest of the world.”

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who was criticized for an initial plan that included buying thousands of gas-powered trucks, said the Postal Service was required by law to deliver mail and packages to 163 million addresses six days a week and to cover its costs. To do that.

“As I have said in the past, if we can achieve these goals in a more environmentally responsible way, we will,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

The plan DeJoy announced in February would have made just 10% of the agency’s fleet next-generation. The EPA has criticized the Postal Service, an independent agency, for underestimating greenhouse gas emissions and for failing to consider more environmentally sound alternatives.

Environmental groups and more than a dozen states, including California, New York and Illinois, have sued to stop the initial plan and asked judges to order a more comprehensive environmental review before the Postal Service moves forward with the fleet modernization program. The Postal Service later modified its plan to ensure that half of its initial purchases of 50,000 next-generation vehicles would be electric.

Kathryn Garcia, the Sierra Club’s clean transportation campaign director, called the plan announced Tuesday a “huge win for climate and public health” and a logical decision.

“Instead of receiving pollution through daily mail packages, communities across the United States will get cleaner air,” she said.

said Adrian Martinez, senior attorney for Earthjustice, one of the groups suing the Postal Service.

In addition to modern safety equipment, the new delivery vehicles are longer, making it easier for postal carriers to grab parcels that make up a larger share of the volume. It also improved ergonomics and climate control.

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