USPS, the country’s largest federal fleet, had been pushing for greater electrification in recent months under its “Next Generation Delivery Vehicle” program, which initially included an order for only 5,000 EVs. The Postal Service said in March that it has struggled to electrify its fleet due to a lack of funding and infrastructure, and that it would order more EVs should additional funding become available.
USPS initially ordered 50,000 vehicles from EV manufacturer Oshkosh Defense in March, of which 10,019 would have been electric, for $2.98 billion. It now says that at least 50% of the vans from Oshkosh will be EVs. The agency has identified “10,019 specific delivery routes that present the best initial application for electric vehicles,” according to the most recent announcement.
The expanded electrification push, however, did not all originate with the Postal Service. The agency originally intended to replace 90% of its 212,000 vehicle fleet with fossil fuel-powered models, before 16 states filed suit against USPS in April, claiming the initial plan violated the National Environmental Policy Act and should be dropped.
“The Postal Service has a historic opportunity to invest in our planet and in our future. Instead, it is doubling down on outdated technologies that are bad for our environment and bad for our communities,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in an April statement.