The U.S. Postal Service is rolling forward with its purchasing plan to replace its current fleet with 90% gas-powered trucks and 10% battery electric vehicles (EVs). The Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV) program allows for an increase in the amount of EVs should additional funding become available.
The NGDV program is set to deliver its first 5,000 EVs beginning next year.
This week, the USPS announced it completed its obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process, which evaluated the potential environmental impacts of the NGDV program. The Postal Service filed a record of decision (ROD) with the Federal Register on Wednesday.
“As we have reiterated throughout this process, our commitment to an electric fleet remains ambitious given the pressing vehicle and safety needs of our aging fleet as well as our fragile financial condition. As our financial position improves with the ongoing implementation of our 10-year plan, Delivering for America, we will continue to pursue the acquisition of additional BEV as additional funding — from either internal or congressional sources — becomes available,” said Postmaster General and USPS CEO Louis DeJoy. “But the process needs to keep moving forward. The men and women of the U.S. Postal Service have waited long enough for safer, cleaner vehicles to fulfill on our universal service obligation to deliver to 161 million addresses in all climates and topographies six days per week.”
The Postal Service has the federal government’s largest and oldest vehicle fleet.
The ROD details USPS’s response to feedback recently received from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about the Postal Service’s assessment of the environmental impacts of the NGDV program. The Postal Service’s assessment is detailed in a 340-page Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), which was published under the NEPA process in January.
According to a press release, the NGDV program provides for the introduction of internal-combustion and electric-powered, purpose-built vehicles that deliver significant reductions in vehicle emissions and improvements in fuel economy when compared to the existing delivery vehicle fleet.
The Postal Service faced backlash from the Biden Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency over its NGDV plan, which calls for its fleet mix to be 10% EV. In its ROD, the Postal Service noted that it understands a 100% mix of EVs would deliver even greater emission benefits and the program is designed to increase the mix of EVs as financial resources become available.
The USPS receives no annual government funding for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
The NGDVs will be manufactured by Oshkosh Defense.