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The U.S. Postal Service Gains Traction In The Switch to Electric Vehicles

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has generated a plan to upgrade their vehicles by going primarily to electric vehicles. The mail service intends to purchase 9,250 Ford E-Transit battery electric vehicles late this year. On top of this, they will purchase an equal number of gasoline-powered models from the Chrysler-parent Stellantis. The plan stands to purchase at least 66,000 electric vehicles through 2028. 


This drastic change in delivery vehicles will improve the USPS's service, reduce costs, grow revenue, and improve their employees' work environment. 


The switch to electric vehicles is a small victory in the fight against climate change. As one of the largest fleets worldwide, electrifying USPS trucks would significantly reduce the U.S. government's CO2 emissions. On top of the environmental benefits, going electric would help prevent the USPS from going out of business.


Switching to electric vehicles modernizes mail delivery by creating a more intelligent network to reach its 163 million delivery locations across the country successfully. These actions by the USPS ensure a reliable mail service to Americans while also modernizing the fleet, reducing operation costs, increasing clean air, improving public health, and creating jobs.


The switch to electric vehicles demands the purchase of charging stations. On top of the number of vehicles they will purchase, USPS also plans to order more than 14,000 charging stations to be placed at its facilities. 


Part of the money for this significant undertaking comes from Congress through the Inflation Reduction Act passed by the Biden Administration. The legislation was signed on August 16, 2022. This Act marks Congress's most significant action on clean energy and climate change in the nation's history. The Inflation Reduction Act's $370 billion investment plan intends to lower energy costs, accelerate private investments in clean energy solutions, and create good-paying jobs. This legislation will accelerate transportation electrification. 


This bold modernization plan comes with a hefty price. The USPS plans to invest the total $3 billion the Inflation Reduction Act funds gave it. That cost will make up $1.3 billion for the purchase of electric delivery vehicles and $1.7 billion for the charging infrastructure needed to have this many electric vehicles. Along with this, the USPS will also spend $6.6 billion in funds from the postal service itself. The total cost of this project will add up to $9.6 billion. 


According to USPS, the $3 billion provided by Congress significantly reduced the risk associated with accelerating the implementation of a nationwide infrastructure of a fully electric fleet. 


The leftover $6.6 billion needed to complete this plan will be pulled from the USPS's revenue. However, the USPS generally receives no tax dollars and relies on selling postage and products to keep operating. Being locked into maintaining a fleet of electric vehicles for the next twenty to thirty years could spell disaster for the already burdened service. 


Currently, the U.S. government operates the largest vehicle fleet in the world. After this plan, the USPS will hold the largest vehicle fleet in the Federal government. Through these actions, USPS raises the bar for the rest of the world to switch to electric vehicles.

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