The Postmaster Basic for america Postal Service (USPS) lately dedicated to 10% of its new fleet going full-electric. The upgrade was announced this past week and can exchange 50,000-165,000 autos over the following 10 years. The USPS’ present ICE lineup of LLV’s (long-life autos) is close to 30 years outdated.

As Electrek beforehand lined, the USPS’ preliminary contract was awarded to Oshkosh Company for $482 million. Oshkosh Corp. is a Wisconsin-based protection contractor identified for constructing navy autos. The ultimate choice got here from Postmaster Basic, Louis DeJoy. DeJoy was appointed final Could by the USPS Board of Administrators, all of whom have been chosen by Donald Trump.

The preliminary announcement of the contract with Oshkosh Corp. talked about a mixture of each ICE and electrical autos. The information was met with shock and disappointment from many who believed the following USPS fleet can be solely electrical, particularly after the Biden administration introduced plans a mere month in the past to transition the entire government fleet to EVs. This consists of put up workplace autos.

USPS electric
The USPS’ present LLV (Lengthy Life Automobile)

The USPS can’t decide to greater than 10% electrical?

Congress requested DeJoy why the USPS couldn’t decide to greater than 10% of the brand new autos to be fully-electric. He responded that the USPS doesn’t have the 3 or 4 extra billion it might take to do it. DeJoy adopted up by stating he was prepared to speak to Congress and the Biden administration about extra funding.

Why DeJoy didn’t make efforts to work with Congress and the President earlier than signing a contract with Oshkosh stays unclear. It’s additionally unclear precisely how a lot an intensive electrical rollout would price compared. With that stated, it’s reasonable to believe it would cost significantly more.

In reality, the USPS was beforehand in talks with Workhorse Group Inc., offering the Board of Governors with a bid for an all-electric postal fleet. The USPS rejected the proposal.

DeJoy stated the USPS will guarantee upcoming ICE autos are constructed on a platform that’s extra simply convertible to electrical. When that conversion would possibly occur can also be unclear. Nonetheless, the USPS has allotted $500 million to this trigger.

Yesterday, President Biden revealed intentions to appoint new members to the three vacant seats on the USPS Board of Administrators. This transfer would solidify a Democratic majority on the board and provide bipartisanship. It will additionally give the board energy to take away DeJoy from his place. That’s, if it feels he’s unfit for the function.

Electrek’s take

Environmental advocates in all probability gained’t accept something lower than 100% electrical autos. Nonetheless, there needs to be some understanding behind a blended fleet – a minimum of to begin. One may argue that some rural areas may not have the charging infrastructure to assist electrical postal autos but.

Moreover, an ICE automobile may serve higher throughout harsh winter climates. Nonetheless, a ten% dedication in a “blended fleet” appears like a slap within the face. Such a small portion of a doubtlessly huge contract feels extra like an appeasement than a real rally towards zero-emissions.

Louis DeJoy says the USPS has agreed to commit $500 million towards changing the ICE autos to electrical sometime. Nonetheless, this appears like a punt that can find yourself costing the federal government extra in the long term. It might find yourself as another person’s downside anyway, particularly since President Biden is being urged by Home Democrats to fill the vacant USPS board seats.

The White Home has not made any feedback but. Though, a majority on the board would provide a tremendous opportunity for the Biden Administration to get its electrical federal fleet plans again on monitor. We are going to maintain an in depth eye on it and see.

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