The U.S. Postal Service announced it anticipates changes to the purchase plan for its next generation delivery vehicles (NGDVs). The adjustments reflect changes to the Postal Service’s overall network modernization, route optimizations, improved facility electric infrastructure, and availability of vehicles and technology.
Earlier this year, the Postal Service announced its plan to acquire up to 165,000 NGDVs, with at least 10% of them being battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and the rest being internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. The plan was meant to be flexible to allow the USPS to add more BEVs if funding became available. Government Fleet previously reported that the Biden Administration and other groups pushed back, calling on a higher amount of BEVs to be included in the mix. The USPS then announced its initial purchase of 50,000 NGDVs from Oshkosh Defense, with 20% of them being BEVs.
In June, the USPS announced it was publishing a Notice of Intent to supplement its environmental impact statement (EIS) after accounting for expected changes following a recently announced plan to improve its delivery network. Now, the USPS is announcing at least 50% of the initial 50,000 NGDVs it purchased will be BEVs. Additionally, the Postal Service is also proposing to purchase 34,5000 commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) vehicles over a two-year period, according to a press release. In total, of the 84,500 NGDVs and COTS vehicles, the Postal Service anticipates having at least 40% BEVs in the mix. New NGDVs are expected to start servicing postal routes in late 2023.
As a result of the announcement, the USPS is extending the public comment period for its NGDV supplemental EIS. A public hearing will be held August 8.
Additional purchases of NGDVs or other COTS vehicles will be analyzed in future supplements to the EIS prior to being purchased.
The Postal Service also anticipates evaluating and procuring vehicles over shorter time periods to be more responsive to its evolving operational strategy, technology improvements, and changing market conditions, including the expected increased availability of BEV options in the future, the press release explained.
The Postal Service, which operates the nation's largest public fleet, generally receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products, and services to fund its operations.
In December, President Joe Biden issued an executive order asking the U.S. government to buy only EVs for the federal fleet by 2035. While the USPS was exempt from the order, a spokesperson has previously told Government Fleet that the Postal Service hopes to follow the same precedent.