Efforts are underway to provide mail delivery vehicles to rural mail carriers for the U.S. Postal Service. But it's unclear if those will be electric vehicles (EVs). Many rural mail carriers and rural carrier associates, who often staff post offices in rural areas, are required to use their own vehicles for mail delivery. They receive an equipment maintenance allowance for their vehicles in addition to regular pay.
The USPS recently committed to electrifying at least 10% of its fleet. In its recent Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which was criticized by the Environmental Protection Agency last week, the USPS laid out several possible purchasing plans to obtain as many EVs as possible. The Postal Service hopes to purchase and deploy anywhere from 50,000 to 165,000 new vehicles in its fleet over the next decade. How many Evs that will include is still being worked out.
Government Fleet reached out to the USPS to find out if rural mail carriers will be included in the effort. A spokesperson for the Postal Service said the agency has initiated the process of assigning postal delivery vehicles to some of these routes as the vehicle inventory allows. The spokesperson could not confirm whether that would include the Next Generation Delivery Vehicles outlined in the EIS, or whether it would be older model trucks currently being used by other departments.
We also asked whether there was a goal to ever provide rural drivers with EVs; the spokesperson was not able to answer that. In December, President Joe Biden issued an executive order asking the U.S. government to buy only EVs by 2035. Because rural drivers use their own vehicles, they would presumably not be included in that effort.