The United States Postal Service awarded contracts for 9,250 commercially available left-hand drive (LHD) battery electric vehicles (BEVs) as well as initial orders for more than 14,000 charging stations to be deployed at Postal Service facilities. According to a release, these awards are consistent with the vehicle electrification strategy announced by USPS in December of 2022, accompanied by senior White House officials.
Overall, the Postal Service’s total investment in vehicles is expected to reach $9.6 billion, including $3 billion from Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funds.
The December 2022 plan announced intended acquisitions over the next five years of a 75% electric fleet of Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDV). Acquisitions of NGDV after 2026 will be 100% electric.
Electrifying the Postal Fleet
As part of the earliest stages of the delivery vehicle replacement plan, a contract for 9,250 commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) internal combustion engine vehicles will also be concurrently awarded to fill the urgent need for vehicles.
According to a release from Ford, those 9,250 vehicles will be Ford E-Transit vans.
“Ford is proud to support the United States Postal Service in delivering a more sustainable future for America by electrifying their fleet with over 9,200 E-Transit vans through the end of 2024. Built by our dedicated UAW workforce at the Kansas City Assembly Plant, vehicles will be operated by the largest electric fleet in the country serving communities on every street corner. Together with USPS, we are committing to cleaner air and a better planet,” said Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO.
The specific locations for deployment of the vehicles and infrastructure have not yet been finalized and will depend on route characteristics, including whether a left-hand drive vehicle is mission-suitable as well as other business considerations.
The Postal Service plans to begin building out its charging infrastructure across a minimum of 75 locations within the next 12 months, and thereafter to continue the infrastructure build out in the succeeding years at many additional facilities as a part of our delivery vehicle electrification strategy.
“We are moving forward with our plans to simultaneously improve our service, reduce our cost, grow our revenue, and improve the working environment for our employees. Electrification of our vehicle fleet is now an important component of these initiatives,” said Louis DeJoy, Postmaster General. “We have developed a strategy that mitigates both cost and risk of deployment – which enable execution on this initiative to begin now. I again want to thank the Administration officials and members of Congress who have assisted us in this initiative. Each has shown genuine understanding that our movement toward electrification must be thoughtful and deliberate, must appropriately manage risk, and must be consistent with our primary delivery mission for the American people.”